The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century

The Bin Ladens An Arabian Family in the American Century In The Bin Ladens two time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll continues where Ghost Wars left off shedding new light on one of the most elusive families of the twenty first century Rising from a famin

  • Title: The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
  • Author: Steve Coll
  • ISBN: 9780143114819
  • Page: 464
  • Format: Paperback
  • In The Bin Ladens, two time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll continues where Ghost Wars left off, shedding new light on one of the most elusive families of the twenty first century Rising from a famine stricken desert into luxury, private compounds, and even business deals with Hollywood celebrities, the Bin Ladens have benefited from the tensions and contradictions in aIn The Bin Ladens, two time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll continues where Ghost Wars left off, shedding new light on one of the most elusive families of the twenty first century Rising from a famine stricken desert into luxury, private compounds, and even business deals with Hollywood celebrities, the Bin Ladens have benefited from the tensions and contradictions in a country founded on extreme religious purity, suddenly thrust into a world awash in oil, money, and the temptations of the West But what do these incongruities mean for globalization, the War on Terror, and America s place in the Middle East Meticulously researched, The Bin Ladens is the story of a remarkably varied and often dangerous family that has used money, mobility, and technology to dramatically different ends.

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      464 Steve Coll
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      Published :2020-01-01T23:40:36+00:00

    About "Steve Coll"

    1. Steve Coll

      Steve Coll is President CEO of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at The Washington Post, serving as the paper s managing editor from 1998 to 2004.He is author six books, including The Deal of the Century The Break Up of ATT 1986 The Taking of Getty Oil 1987 Eagle on the Street, based on the Pulitzer Prize winning account of the SEC s battle with Wall Street with David A Vise, 1991 On the Grand Trunk Road A Journey into South Asia 1994 , Ghost Wars The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 2004 and The Bin Ladens An Arabian Family in the American Century 2008 Mr Coll s professional awards include two Pulitzer Prizes He won the first of these, for explanatory journalism, in 1990, for his series, with David A Vise, about the SEC His second was awarded in 2005, for his book, Ghost Wars, which also won the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross award the Overseas Press Club award and the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book published on international affairs during 2004 Other awards include the 1992 Livingston Award for outstanding foreign reporting the 2000 Robert F Kennedy Memorial Award for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone and a second Overseas Press Club Award for international magazine writing Mr Coll graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude, from Occidental College in 1980 with a degree in English and history He lives in Washington, D.C.


    1. A remarkable account of the rise of the Bin Laden family in the Arabian Peninsula. The author gives us a portrait of how they consolidated their building enterprises and became the number one “go to” guys (in this case no gals involved) for the ruling Al-Sauds’ – the Saudi ruling family.So this book is not just about the infamous Osama, it’s on the entire family. In some ways it is sympathetic; and definitely intriguing – a rags to riches story – Saudi style. The Bib Laden rise spr [...]

    2. This is not a political story, it is a family history. It describes the legacy of a patriarch of incredible talent that built a business by insinuating himself into a "new" royal family that was appeasing the conservative religious leaders that held the hearts and minds of its subjects. The Saudi royals and the Bin Ladens led parallel lives, each dependent on the goodwill of a their respective enablers.The author pulls you into this family. The reader marvels at the charismatic Salem, who, barel [...]

    3. الكتاب عبارة عن تأريخ كامل لامبراطورية بن لادن في السعودية، بدءًا من زعيمها محمد بن عوض بن لادن الذي هاجر من حضرموت للسعودية وحتى الوصول لأبناءه وأحفاده وذكر للعائلة المالكة في السعودية توازيًا مع بن لادن. خليفة محمد بن لادن ابنه سالم ذا الشخصية المثيرة للاهتمام جدًا، ومن ب [...]

    4. لقد أسمتمعت بقراءة كتاب آل لادن بالرغم من حجمه ( 800 صفحه) و لكن لم أشعر بالملل أبدا. بدأ المؤلف بسرد بأسلوب قصصصي عن حياه الجد الذي عاش فقيرا و مات فقيرا و انتقل من قريته بسبب 40 ريال لم يستطع توفيرها فهرب بحياته و استقر في منطقه أخرى و مات شابا. أما أبنه محمد الذي انتقل بين هنا وهن [...]

    5. كتاب عبارة عن تحقيق صحفي ضخم عن عائلة بن لادن وليس عن أسامه بن لادن شخصياً ،، الأصول والثروة والعلاقات والمصاعب والسياسة وأخيراً ارتباطها بشخصية أصبحت مطاردة ومتهمة بالإرهاب ،، الكتاب جيد من ناحية السرد التاريخي للعائلة لكن تمنيت لو كتب بقلم عربي يدرك ثقافة المجتمع والبلاد [...]

    6. واحد من أجمل الكتب التي قرأتها في خلال هذا العام , كتاب يتحدث حول صعود عائلة بن لادن من مؤسسها وهو يفر من اليمن لأجل تسديد ثمن ثور إلى واحد من أكبر الأثرياء في العالم , كتاب رائع يتحدث حول المال والسلطة والأسلحة والإرهاب والعائلة الحاكمة في السعودية الجميل في هذا الكتاب أنه يف [...]

    7. When one thinks of Bin Laden, of course, one thinks of Osama, Al Qaeda, and 9-11. However, this book looks at a fascinating family history, with Osama Bin Laden as only one small part of the larger familial tapestry. A genealogy at the front of the book helps to identify the family's background, from Ali (circa 1820) to Aboud, to Awadh (born around 1875) to Mohamed (born around 1905) and Abdullah, brothers who came to bring the family wealth and recognition. Finally, the 54 children of Mohamed B [...]

    8. Well-written and a (relatively) quick read, this book answered many, but not all, of my questions about Osama and the Bin Laden family. I also appreciated the info on the history of Saudi Arabia, its ruling family and the Wahhabi sect.

    9. Excellent book on the family of Osama Bin Laden. Gives a good background on Sudia Arabia and the middle east in general. If you interested in world events, this book is an excellent source of information.

    10. ممتع للغاية.الكتاب يبدأ بسيرة عوض بن عبود بن لادن في قريته الصغيرة في حضرموت، وبعد ذلك عن ولديه محمد وعبدالله بن لادن وعصاميتهما في إنشاء شركة بن لادن، ثم يتدرج في سيرة "المعلم" محمد بن لادن وانفصال أخيه عبدالله عنه وعودته إلى حضرموت، وبعد ذلك يسرد الكتاب عن سيرة أبناء محمد بن [...]

    11. Interesting enough, just got slow, tedious ,and boring after a while. The topic was a little too broad. Still, I really enjoyed Coll's sweeping and comprehensive history of Saudi Arabia. It's a great book; it just wasn't my style.For a book so meticulously researched and well written, there was also one jarring mistake: "In May 2003, Al Qaeda cells inside Saudi Arabia launched a series of mostly ineffectual attacks against the Interior Ministry, American compounds in the oil zones, and against t [...]

    12. Most reviewers were extremely impressed by The Bin Ladens and found it much more than a supplement to the array of existing Osama biographies. They praised Coll's choice of the family as framing device, which allows him to explore a century's worth of geopolitical intrigue, economic forces, and cultural change in the Middle East while also constructing an engaging personal story that helps explain recent events. A few reviewers named The Bin Ladens as one of the most important books for helping [...]

    13. Ironically this book was sitting atop my "to read" pile when news broke of Osama's death. In the words of an FBI agent who was wrapping up investigations in 2003, there are "millions of Bin Ladens running around, and 99.999% of them are of the non-evil variety."Their story begins in remote part of Yemen around the turn of the 20th century when Awadh Bin Laden had a borrowed ox accidentally die on his watch. Unable to repay the debt, he fled to a new village and produced two sons of note- Mohamed [...]

    14. A very thorough and enlightening book about the Bin Laden family, The Bin Ladens goes all the way back to the patriarch, Awadh (born, ca 1875) who fled Yemen to avoid a debt from a dead ox. His oldest son who had no education, but was a hard worker, started building small projects for the Saudi royal family which became a multi-million dollar business. Mohammed was born around 1905 and married many wives and sired 54 children. He married Osama's mother when she was 14 and soon released her. This [...]

    15. I read Steve Coll’s earlier book Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 back in 2014 on the recommendation of my then-yet-to-be-wife (she still hasn’t read it yet). I absolutely loved the detailed writing, covering all the major geopolitical stakeholders. I glanced upon this book last year in a book store by chance and it intrigued me. I have lived a major part of my childhood in Saudi Arabia all my life, where see [...]

    16. I found the first 40 or 50 pages so gripping. I almost couldn't put the book down. It was still gripping as it talked about the many wives of Bin Laden's father, Mohamed. Then the focus was entirely (or almost entirely) on Bin Laden: his boyhood, his predilections, his wives, his beliefs, his family's wealth, his friends, his gradual espousal of extremist views, and so forth. And I suddenly realized: I didn't have as much interest in Bin Laden as I had thought. The book was published several yea [...]

    17. الكتاب جميل جدا يؤرخ الكاتب فيه عن عائلة بن لادن بدأً "بعوض بن لادن" جد الشيخ "أسامة بن لادن" رحمه الله, وكيفية هربه من مدينته فى "اليمن" إلى حضر موت هروبا من القتل بسبب أنه كان عليه دين لأحد أفراد بلدته, ثم أنتقل إلى الكلام عن الأب المؤسس للعائلة "محمد بن لادن" وكيفية خروجه هو وأخ [...]

    18. While this book was not quite as gripping as the author's previous book (Ghost Wars - which tells the story of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan up until 9/11), this was nonetheless a very interesting and well-written book. While Osama is the most famous Bin Laden, he was only one of 54 children of Mohammed Bin Laden - a poor Yemeni immigrant who created a multi-billion dollar construction empire in Saudi Arabia. The most interesting themes in this book to me were the Bin Laden's intimate conne [...]

    19. I read the book as sort of "Where's Waldo?" exercise. My bet is that Osama Bin Laden is hanging out in Peshwar province, although Somalia, Yemen, or Saudi Arabia are all good bets. I gave a low rating to the book because the analysis was so shallow. Yes, the bin Ladens are rich and like fast planes and cars. I get it. The men have multiple wives, so they tend to have huge families. Many have contributed to jihad in the 1980's when the Soviet Union fought the Taleban in Afghanistan. Does anyone b [...]

    20. The Bin Laden family raised itself from humble beginnings in a Yemeni valley to become one of the wealthiest and most influential in Saudi Arabia. The author first explores the origins of the Bin Laden connection to the Saudi royals and carries the reader at a good pace to present day. This book masterfully intertwines the varied stories of the vast numbers of Bin Laden children as their family's wealth takes them across the globe. During their globe-trotting adventures, conflicts between busine [...]

    21. Riveting and insightful read. The author sheds light on the Bin Ladens' roots, work ethics, family life, progress and entrenchment in the Saudi culture. An intricate story of a complex family punctuated by the events of September 11th and the aftermath that the family had to face.

    22. One of the most authoritative books on the man and the myth surrounding him and his family. It also provide substantial context regarding his life before, during, and after the 9/11 attacks. Great read. I barely put it down.

    23. An excellent history of a family straddling lines between the East and the West and between extremism and tolerance. Definitely recommended

    24. An fascinating backstory to 9/11. Very engrossing journey of Bin Laden's treacherous and misguided destiny

    25. (I read this book as part of a wider set to better understand the rise of Al Qaeda and ISIS. See full list of books below this review.)After I finished this book, I followed up with Growing Up Bin Laden and highly recommend them in this order. Coll's book gave me much information about Osama Bin Laden (OBL)'s father that was unavailable to Bin Laden's wife and son in the latter book. But OBL's family provided much more detail on the events outlined by Coll, and their memories and timelines match [...]

    26. As the 20th century begins, the Bin Laden saga does as well. It is almost an accident of fate, the death of an oxen, borrowed by Awadh, that begins the Bin Laden clan in earnest. The book examines the rise and fall of this prominent family beginning with the line of Ali. His descendant, Aboud has one son, Awadh. Awahd has four sons, two of which, Mohammed and Abdullah are the early focus. At first, it reads almost like a fairytale or a nightmare as their very survival seems to depend on magical [...]

    27. Its an extensively researched book, starting from great-grandfather of the most famous Bin Laden. My take away from this book is how no-one, not even Osama Bin laden is born as a terrorist. Neither do the get converted into one just because of one situation. Even though the author has tried to search for the reasons and tied the sprout of terrorist thoughts in his head to quite many things, no particular incident can be termed as the flipping point. Osama had almost the same qualities as most of [...]

    28. A great family-biography that offers insight and helps pass the cliches about the subject. It shows the fascinating story of an extraordinary family and the history between Saudi-Arabia and the United States. A special relationship that always has been difficult to say the least. I personally never knew much about the family of Osama Bin Laden and could not image it was such a remarkable story. The author shows the connections between the Bin Laden empire, carried by persons with a specific visi [...]

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