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Steven SimonRaymond Ibrahim, an archivist at the Library of Congress, has cobbled together the third anthology of bin Laden's pronouncements of which I'm aware. It largely overlaps the others, but usefully includes the editor's translations of al-Zawahiri's manifestos, in addition to bin Laden's. The organization of the book is thematic, rather than chronological, which is also useful, but which will make it hard for readers interested in the development of jihadist thought to discern its trajectory. For this, readers should turn to Bruce Lawrence's Messages to the World (2005)…The usefulness of anthologies such as this one is generally thought to lie in the importance of better knowing the enemy. But winning a war of ideas also requires understanding how others see us—and why it resonates with so many whose hearts and minds we are battling for. I'm reminded of a Hellenistic tombstone from Egypt that depicts a reclining skeleton and the phrase gnothe seauton: "know thyself." That's part of the challenge bin Laden poses to us.
—The Washington Post