Osama bin Laden Books Rushing to Market

May 6th 2011 – 2:39PM
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CBC News
An e-book of essays written following the death of Osama bin Laden will be published Monday, the first in an onslaught of books about the al-Qaeda leader and the hunt to find him.

Beyond Bin Laden: America and the future of terror will include essays by former U.S. secretary of state James A. Baker, who served under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, and by former White House aide Karen Hughes.

American diplomat Richard N. Haass and Reagan-era aide and author Bing West are also contributors. Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Random House executive editor Jon Meacham is to edit and write an introduction.

The announcement of publication, made Thursday by Random House, comes hard on the heels of book deals for other bin Laden experts.

Peter Bergen, a national security analyst for CNN and author of Holy War, Inc., The Osama bin Laden I Know and The Longest War, has signed a deal with Crown Publishers. His forthcoming book, called The Manhunt, will explore the search for bin Laden.

Bergen conducted a television interview with bin Laden in 1997 and interviewed more than 50 people who knew him personally to write The Osama bin Laden I Know.

His The Longest War: The Enduring Conflict between America and Al-Qaeda, which was published in January, is now being rushed out in e-book format as well.

Steve Coll, who won a Pulitzer Prize for Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, has a deal with Penguin Press for a book analyzing the events of the 10 years leading up to bin Laden's death.

Coll, who is president and CEO of the New America Foundation and a former managing editor of the Washington Post, also wrote The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century. No release date has been set for his new book.

Much of the publishing interest centres around the mission to find bin Laden and the raid that ended his life. Information about the raid is being released slowly by the White House, but there will likely be a race to secure first-person accounts.

In the meantime, a book about the Navy SEAL unit that killed bin Laden in Pakistan is flying up the Amazon.com bestseller list.

SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper, which is being moved up from its previously scheduled late-May release, looks at the training and operations of one of America's premiere counterterrorism units, with co-author Howard E. Wasdin giving an insider's view. He wrote the book, completed before bin Laden's death, with Stephen Templin.

With files from The Associated Press
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