The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda’s Road to 9/11 by Lawrence Wright; Celsius 7/7: How the West’s Policy of Appeasement Has Provoked Yet More Fundamentalist Terror – and What Has To Be Done Now by Michael Gove - review by Michael Burleigh

Michael Burleigh

Times of Terror

The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda’s Road to 9/11

By

Allen Lane / Penguin Press 469pp £20 order from our bookshop

Celsius 7/7: How the West’s Policy of Appeasement Has Provoked Yet More Fundamentalist Terror – and What Has To Be Done Now

By

Weidenfeld & Nicolson 153pp £9.99 order from our bookshop
 

The fifth anniversary of 9/11 has inevitably seen a spate of books and television films, most notably Touchstone Productions’ outstanding The Path to 9/11 (outstanding because of its honest depiction of Islamist psychopaths), which was shown on BBC2, and Melanie Phillips’s impassioned Londonistan (Gibson Square).

While his interviews with a cast of thousands do not enable journalist Lawrence Wright substantially to increase our knowledge, as a first-rate reporter, familiar with several Third World hellholes, and a skilful writer, he succeeds brilliantly in humanising all the principal actors who came together on the morning of 9/11.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter