Last month, Penguin Random House released the paperback edition of The Terror Years: From Al Qaeda to the Islamic State, by journalist Lawrence Wright. Wright’s 2007 work about 9/11, The Looming Tower, deservedly won the Pulitzer Prize, and this book, which picks up from where the earlier book left off, looks very worthwhile. Here’s the description from the publisher’s website:
These powerful investigative pieces, which take us from the religious police of Saudi Arabia to the rise of the Islamic State, comprise an essential primer on jihadist movements in the Middle East—and the attempts of the West to contain them. In these pages, Lawrence Wright examines al-Qaeda as it experiences a rebellion from within and spins off a growing web of worldwide terror. He shows us the Syrian film industry before the civil war—compliant at the edges but already exuding a barely masked fury. He gives us the heart-wrenching story of American children kidnapped by ISIS—and Atlantic publisher David Bradley’s efforts to secure their release. And he details the roles of key FBI figures John O’Neill and his talented protégé Ali Soufan in fighting terrorism. In a moving epilogue, Wright shares his predictions for the future. Rigorous, clear-eyed, and compassionate, The Terror Years illuminates the complex human players on all sides of a devastating conflict.