The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Themes

Lawrence Wright
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American Overconfidence

Wright’s overall purpose in writing this book is to explain how al-Qaeda and its leaders developed and why they were able to attack the United States so successfully on 9/11. He argues that the U.S. failure to prevent these attacks was rooted in the view that the United States was invincible following the Cold War.

Throughout the book, Wright points to the advantages the United States has over potential threats, most notably a powerful military and technologically advanced society. More importantly, Americans have a strong faith in their shared values. Even if some force could conceivably challenge the United States, no one exposed to the liberalism and modernity of the country’s society would want to. Wright gives this view some credence by casting it in specifically post-Cold War terms. In the two decades preceding 9/11, the United States had indeed secured a major victory against the...

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This section contains 1,323 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 Study Guide
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