Nov 30, 2001

The Week

Copyright 2001 Time Inc. Entertainment Weekly November 30, 2001 SECTION: BOOKS/THE WEEK; Pg. 86 LENGTH: 1752 words HEADLINE: The Week BYLINE: Daniel Fierman; Brian M. Raftery; Daneet Steffens; Rebecca, Ascher-Walsh; Karen Valby; Chris Nashawaty BODY: Nonfiction HOLY WAR, INC.: INSIDE THE SECRET WORLD OF OSAMA BIN LADEN Peter L. Bergen (Free Press, $ 26) The locustlike clicking of keyboards has reached a deafening pitch in recent weeks as quickie bin Laden books are pounded out by the bushel. Poking through the noise is this four-years-in-the-making effort by CNN terrorism analyst Bergen, who has not only interviewed the al-Qaeda leader but spent significant time in Afghanistan and the surrounding environs. Minus the rotten jokes--"Khost...[is] about the last place [bin Laden] would be likely to hang his turban"--the book is a confident, easily digestible explanation of the evolution of radical Islamist movements and their global jihad. The final product is impressive in scope and spookiness, underscoring both the grim determination of bin Laden and his comrades and the threat they pose to international stability. B+ --Daniel Fierman