In This Review

Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden
Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden
Edited by Bruce Lawrence, Translated by James Howarth
Verso, 2005, 224 pp
Purchase

Following Lawrence's succinct introduction, this short book presents translations of 24 different statements by Osama bin Laden (mainly speeches, but also one long interview), arranged chronologically from December 1994 to December 2004. Some are hardly more than a page, others longer. The provenance and context of each statement are given in a short introductory statement, and copious footnotes identify Koranic and hadith citations, persons past or present mentioned, and other subjects that might need identification. The translations provide an idiomatically smooth English text even while preserving the distinctive tenor of the Arabic (for four of the statements the Arabic original could not be recovered). This is a fine and faithful rendition of the mind of bin Laden as set out in his own words.