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Osama bin Laden: 7 books that offer insight into the man and his actions

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2. "The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century," by Steve Coll

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Steve Coll draws upon more than 150 interviews and thousands of documents to create this absorbing history of the bin Laden family. "Coll's story is a family biography rather than a portrait of Osama," noted Monitor reviewer Chuck Leddy, "but in the telling much is revealed about the young man who grew up in a family almost as secular as it was pious, 'one degree separated from Mecca and two degrees from Las Vegas.' " Leddy's interview with Steve Coll about the bin Ladens can be heard here.

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