A Critical Book Report on Lawrence Wright's the Looming Tower.

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A critical book report on Lawrence Wright's The Looming Tower. Introduction
The September 11th terrorist hijackings and attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon caught the United States largely by surprise. Once the dust had settled, and the shock and horror of such an unprecedented event had waned, the American public began to ask questions. Names such as Osama bin Laden, countries such as Afghanistan, and organizations such as Al-Qaeda were brought into the public's consciousness for the first time. Through newspapers, talkback radio and television programs the nation asked ‘why do they hate us so much?' Others, such as those in the government and public service, asked ‘what could we have done to have prevented this?' It is
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Wright is unmatched in his intimate insights into the lives of the key players, from bin Laden's relationships with his wives, to O'Neal's turbulent personal life. It is with this immense detail, that the author persuasively argues his two main contentions.

Why did Al-Qaeda attack the United States?
Wright offers a rather complex answer to the burning question of why such a horrific terrorist attack occurred. He seems to draw certain elements from Samuel Huntington's influential ‘Clash of Civilizations' thesis. Huntington contends that the cultural distinctions between people lie at the root of most conflict in the post-cold war world. Therefore, the West is despised by the Islamic world, not because of ideological, political or economic factors, but for cultural reasons. Wright also draws heavily from Barber's ‘Jihad vs. Mcworld' theory, which argues that the widespread Western belief in the universality of its own values and political system, combined with the unstoppable force of globalization, antagonizes the Islamic civilization and spawns tribal forces of resistance, spurred on by their own fierce religious convictions.

Wright illustrates the ‘Civilization Clash' through the experiences of Sayyid Qutb. He portrays Qutb as being overwhelmed by the materialism

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