The Bin Laden Machine

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Only a few genetic lines–the Hapsburgs, the Hans, the Roosevelts, for instance–have shaped geopolitics as much as the Bin Ladens. In his NYRB review of Steve Coll’s The Bin Ladens, Frank Halliday details Coll’s methodical deconstruction of the inner workings both of this filthy rich family and the Saudi society that gave it wings. Halliday writes that “The Bin Ladens is not so much a book about Osama bin Laden himself, or his terrorist network and political aspirations, as about the power structures of modern Saudi Arabia.” (via The Morning News)


Jesse Nathan is an editor at McSweeney’s and the managing editor of the Best American Nonrequired Reading. His poetry and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in jubilat, the American Poetry Review, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Nation. He was born in Berkeley, grew up in Kansas, and lives now in San Francisco. More from this author →