Steve Coll– The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century; Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 –Videos
Steve Coll on The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of the national bestseller Ghost Wars, Steve Coll presents the story of the Bin Laden family’s rise to power and privilege, revealing new information to show how American influences changed the family and how one member’s rebellion changed America
The Bin Ladens rose from poverty to privilege; they loyally served the Saudi royal family for generations-and then one of their number changed history on September 11, 2001. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll tells the epic story of the rise of the Bin Laden family and of the wildly diverse lifestyles of the generation to which Osama bin Laden belongs, and against whom he rebelled. Starting with the family’s escape from famine at the beginning of the twentieth century through its jet-set era in America after the 1970s oil boom, and finally to the family’s attempts to recover from September 11, The Bin Ladens unearths extensive new material about the family and its relationship with the United States, and provides a richly revealing and emblematic narrative of our globally interconnected times.
To a much greater extent than has been previously understood, the Bin Laden family owned an impressive share of the America upon which Osama ultimately declared war-shopping centers, apartment complexes, luxury estates, privatized prisons in Massachusetts, corporate stocks, an airport, and much more. They financed Hollywood movies and negotiated over real estate with Donald Trump. They came to regard George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, and Prince Charles as friends of their family. And yet, as was true of the larger relationship between the Saudi and American governments, when tested by Osama’s violence, the family’s involvement in the United States proved to be narrow and brittle.
Among the many memorable figures that cross these pages is Osama’s older brother, Salem-a free-living, chainsmoking, guitar-strumming pilot, adventurer, and businessman who cavorted across America and Europe and once proposed marriage to four American and European girlfriends simultaneously, attempting to win a bet with the king of Saudi Arabia. Osama and Salem’s father, Mohamed bin Laden, is another force in the narrative-an illiterate bricklayer who created the family fortune through perspicacity and wit, until his sudden death in an airplane crash in 1967, an accident caused by an error by his American pilot.
At the story’s heart lies an immigrant family’s attempt to adapt simultaneously to Saudi Arabia’s puritanism and America’s myriad temptations. The family generation to which Osama belonged-twenty-five brothers and twenty-nine sisters-had to cope with intense change. Most of them were born into a poor society where religion dominated public life. Yet by the time they became young adults, these Bin Ladens found themselves bombarded by Western-influenced ideas about individual choice, by gleaming new shopping malls and international fashion brands, by Hollywood movies and changing sexual mores-a dizzying world that was theirs for the taking, because they each received annual dividends that started in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. How they navigated these demands is an authentic, humanizing story of Saudi Arabia, America, and the sources of attraction and repulsion still present in the countries’ awkward embrace. …”
Osama bin Laden: Past, Present, and Future
The history of the Bin Laden Family-good!-1/6
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The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century
Steve Coll on the rise of Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda
Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to S
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Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001
Conversations with History: Steve Coll
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“…Steve Coll (born October 8, 1958 in Washington, D.C.) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and writer. Coll is currently president and CEO of the New America Foundation. Prior to assuming that post on September 17, 2007, Coll was a staff writer for The New Yorker, and served as managing editor of The Washington Post from 1998 to 2004. Coll was also an associate editor for The Post from late 2004 to August 2005. Coll used to maintain a blog on The New Yorker website entitled Think Tank, where he wrote primarily on issues of foreign and public policy, and American national security.
Born in Washington, DC, Coll graduated from Thomas S. Wootton High School in Rockville, Maryland in 1976. He moved to the west coast, attending Occidental College in Los Angeles, California, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1980 with majors in English and History.
He is the writer of numerous books, including the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner for general non-fiction, Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. Coll also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1990 for explanatory journalism for his coverage of the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Coll’s career as a journalist began at California magazine, where he eventually became a contributing editor. Coll started working for the Post as a general assignment feature writer in 1985 for the paper’s Style section, quickly moving up to become a New York stationed financial correspondent in 1987. He subsequently moved to New Delhi in 1989, becoming the Post’s[which?] South Asia bureau chief. From 1995-1998, he worked for the Washington Post Magazine, serving as publisher beginning in 1996.
On July 23, 2007, Coll was named to become the next director of the New America Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C.
His book The Bin Ladens was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award. …”