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Wednesday, Oct. 03, 2001

As a Writ columnist who keeps an eye out for books to be reviewed, presumably a lot of thinking people (a term surely synonymous with Writ readers) are now interested in learning more about terrorism, the Middle East, and Islamic fundamentalism. Not surprisingly, given the terrible events of September 11th, reading tastes have suddenly changed.

I discovered that my favorite site for University presses has compiled a special list of some 103 potential titles that may be of interest to readers. See the home page of the Association of American University Presses: "Books For Understanding."

The staff of Salon, the online magazine, has assembled a list that includes books on "Osama bin Laden and the Taliban," "Afghanistan and Central Asia," "Terrorism," "Fundamentalism," "The Middle East," "Israel and the Arabs," and "War." This list includes reviews, and author interviews, for several of the works. See Salon's book page: "Get Educated."

Publisher's Weekly, the trade publication of the book business, reports new reading interests following the terrorist attacks. They have published a list of titles that publishers are offering and readers are acquiring, given the adjusted "cultural zeitgeist". In an article entitled "Readers Turn to New Titles After September 11," PW listed the following works (which have been collected from the article and arranged alphabetically by title):


Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban by Larry P. Goodson [University of Washington Press]

Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America by Yossef Bodansky [Crown/Three Rivers]

Divided We Stand: A Biography of New York City's World Trade Center by Eric Darton [Basic Books]

Five Days in London: May 1940 by John Lukacs [Yale University Press]

Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban, edited by William Maley (1998) [New York University Press]

Germs: Biological Weapons and America's Secret War by Judith Miller, William Broad, and Stephen Engleberg [Simon & Schuster]

It's Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr [Little, Brown]

Lives of Moral Leadership: Inspirational Stories About Moral Leaders and Their Styles of Leadership by Robert Coles [HarperCollins]

Orientalism and The End of the Peace Process by Edward Said [Vintage Books]

Reaping the Whirlwind, a study of the Taliban by Michael Griffin [Pluto Press]

Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia by Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid [Yale University Press]

The Coming Anarchy; Ends of the Earth; and Balkan Ghosts by Robert Kaplan [Vintage Books]

The Hidden War: A Russian Journalist's Account of the Soviet War in Afghanistan by Artyom Borovik [Grove/Atlantic ]

The Lexus and the Olive Tree; From Beirut to Jerusalem by Thomas Friedman [Vintage Books]

The New Jackals: Ramzi Yousef, Osama Bin Laden and the Future of Terrorism by Simon Reeve [Northeastern Univ. Press]

The Price of Terror: One Bomb. One Plane. 270 Lives. The History-making Struggle for Justice After Lockerbie by Allan Gerson [HarperCollins]

The Secrets of Nostradamus by David Ovason [HarperCollins]

Twin Towers: The Life of New York City's World Trade Center by Angus Kress Gillespie [Rutgers Univ. Press]

Ultimate Terrorist by Jessica Stern [Harvard Univ.]

Unholy Wars: Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism by John K. Cooley [Stylus Publishing LLC]

With these two sites, and the PW list, you should find virtually everything that is currently available. But I am reminded of the words of Abraham Lincoln, who said during the Civil War, "The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who'll get me a book I ain't read." So if you know of a book that "ain't" included on these lists, but should be, hopefully you will be a friend and post a message bringing it to the attention of all.


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