Summary of The Looming Tower

Looking for the book?
We have the summary! Get the key insights in just 10 minutes.

The Looming Tower book summary


9 Overall

8 Importance

8 Innovation

10 Style


Religious zealotry, poverty, repression and cheap weapons are critical elements for any terrorist group, but in the hands of a charismatic leader they can foment a formidable movement. That’s how millionaire Osama bin Laden revived an archaic form of Islam to confront contemporary Muslims, modernity and Western culture. Lawrence Wright richly describes the people and events, including mismanaged U.S. intelligence information, which led to numerous attacks on U.S. interests – culminating, of course, in the destruction of the World Trade Center. This disturbing book explaining the prospects of a long-term jihad has all the elements of a crime thriller, except it is real. getAbstract considers this essential reading for anyone interested in terrorism, current events and how the forces of radical terrorism hope to shape the decades ahead.

In this summary, you will learn

  • The political, religious and personal origins of al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden; and
  • How the U.S. missed the opportunity to thwart the 9/11 plot.

About the Author

Lawrence Wright taught at the American University in Cairo, Egypt, for two years. A staff writer for The New Yorker, he is a fellow at the Center on Law and Security at New York University School of Law. His books include City Children, Country Summer, In the New World, Saints and Sinners, Remembering Satan, Twins and one novel, God's Favorite. He co-wrote a film, The Siege.



Early Days
Egyptian doctor and Islamic revolutionary Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri played a key role in shaping the radical Islamic politics that eventually attracted Osama bin Laden. Al-Zawahiri began with a clear political and religious goal: to overthrow the Egyptian government. He participated...

Comment on this summary

More on this topic

Customers who read this summary also read

More by category