Best Selling Books by Lawrence Wright

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release date: Apr 17, 2018
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God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State
With humor and the biting insight of a native, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower explores the history, culture, and politics of Texas, while holding the stereotypes up for rigorous scrutiny.

God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. It is a red state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslims). The cities are blue and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports. The Texas economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation has produced extraordinary growth but also striking income disparities. Texas looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. And Wright's profound portrait of the state not only reflects our country back as it is, but as it was and as it might be.
release date: Aug 21, 2007
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The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11

This Pulitzer Prize winner is the basis for the upcoming Hulu series starring Peter Sarsgaard, Jeff Daniels, and Tahar Rahim.

A gripping narrative that spans five decades, The Looming Tower explains in unprecedented detail the growth of Islamic fundamentalism, the rise of al-Qaeda, and the intelligence failures that culminated in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Lawrence Wright re-creates firsthand the transformation of Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri from incompetent and idealistic soldiers in Afghanistan to leaders of the most successful terrorist group in history. He follows FBI counterterrorism chief John O’Neill as he uncovers the emerging danger from al-Qaeda in the 1990s and struggles to track this new threat. Packed with new information and a deep historical perspective, The Looming Tower is the definitive history of the long road to September 11.

National Book Award Finalist
Updated and with a New Afterword

release date: Nov 05, 2013
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Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief
The Basis for the HBO Documentary. A National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist.
 
Scientology presents itself as a scientific approach to spiritual enlightenment, but its practices have long been shrouded in mystery. Now Lawrence Wright—armed with his investigative talents, years of archival research, and more than two hundred personal interviews with current and former Scientologists—uncovers the inner workings of the church. We meet founder L. Ron Hubbard, the highly imaginative but mentally troubled science-fiction writer, and his tough, driven successor, David Miscavige. We go inside their specialized cosmology and language. We learn about the church’s legal attacks on the IRS, its vindictive treatment of critics, and its phenomenal wealth. We see the church court celebrities such as Tom Cruise while consigning its clergy to hard labor under billion-year contracts. Through it all, Wright asks what fundamentally comprises a religion, and if Scientology in fact merits this Constitutionally-protected label. Brilliantly researched, compellingly written, Going Clear pulls back the curtain on one of the most secretive organizations at work today.

New York Times Notable Book
A Best Book of the Year: The Washington PostThe Boston GlobeNew York magazine,SlateChicago TribuneHuffington PostNewsdayEntertainment WeeklyPeopleThe WeekPublishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews
A GoodReads Reader's Choice
release date: Apr 25, 1995
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Remembering Satan:  A Tragic Case of Recovered Memory
In 1988 Ericka and Julie Ingram began making a series of accusations of sexual abuse against their father, Paul Ingram, who was a respected deputy sheriff in Olympia, Washington. At first the accusations were confined to molestations in their childhood, but they grew to include torture and rape as recently as the month before. At a time when reported incidents of "recovered memories" had become widespread, these accusations were not unusual. What captured national attention in this case is that, under questioning, Ingram appeared to remember participating in bizarre satanic rites involving his whole family and other members of the sheriff's department.

Remembering Satan is a lucid, measured, yet absolutely riveting inquest into a case that destroyed a family, engulfed a small town, and captivated an America obsessed by rumors of a satanic underground. As it follows the increasingly bizarre accusations and confessions, the claims and counterclaims of police, FBI investigators, and mental health professionals. Remembering Satan gives us what is at once a psychological detective story and a domestic tragedy about what happens when modern science is subsumed by our most archaic fears.
release date: Jul 25, 2017
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The Terror Years: From al-Qaeda to the Islamic State
These powerful investigative pieces, which take us from the religious police of Saudi Arabia to the rise of the Islamic State, comprise an essential primer on jihadist movements in the Middle East—and the attempts of the West to contain them. In these pages, Lawrence Wright examines al-Qaeda as it experiences a rebellion from within and spins off a growing web of worldwide terror. He shows us the Syrian film industry before the civil war—compliant at the edges but already exuding a barely masked fury. He gives us the heart-wrenching story of American children kidnapped by ISIS—and Atlantic publisher David Bradley’s efforts to secure their release. And he details the roles of key FBI figures John O’Neill and his talented protégé Ali Soufan in fighting terrorism. In a moving epilogue, Wright shares his predictions for the future. Rigorous, clear-eyed, and compassionate, The Terror Years illuminates the complex human players on all sides of a devastating conflict. 
release date: Feb 10, 1999
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Twins: And What They Tell Us About Who We Are
A New York Times Notable Book for 1998

Critical acclaim for Lawrence Wright's

A Rhone-Poulenc Science Prize Finalist

""This is a book about far more than twins: it is about what twins can tell us about ourselves.""—The New York Times

""With plenty of amazing stories about the similarities and differences of twins, Wright respectfully shows, too, how their special circumstance in life challenges our notions of individuality. A truly fascinating but sometimes spooky (Mengele's experiments with twins at Auschwitz figure among Wright's examples) study.""—American Library Association

""Like so much of Wright's work, this book is a pleasure to read. Because he writes so well, without pushing a particular point of view, he soon has you pondering questions you have tended to comfortably ignore.""—Austin American-Statesman

""Informative and entertaining . . . a provocative subject well considered by a talented journalist.""—Kirkus Reviews

release date: Jan 01, 2018
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God Save Texas: A Journey into the Future of America
'This is a funny, pointed love letter to Texas, at once elegiac and clear-eyed' Ben Macintyre, The Times From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, God Save Texas is a journey through the most controversial state in America. Texas is a Republican state in the heart of Trumpland that hasn't elected a Democrat to a statewide office in more than twenty years; but it is also a state in which minorities already form a majority (including the largest number of Muslim adherents in the United States). The cities are Democrat and among the most diverse in the nation. Oil is still king but Texas now leads California in technology exports and has an economy only somewhat smaller than Australia's. Lawrence Wright has written an enchanting book about what is often seen as an unenchanting place. Having spent most of his life there, while remaining deeply aware of its oddities, Wright is as charmed by Texan foibles and landscapes as he is appalled by its politics and brutality. With its economic model of low taxes and minimal regulation producing both extraordinary growth and striking income disparities, Texas, Wright shows, looks a lot like the America that Donald Trump wants to create. This profound portrait of the state, completed just as Texas battled to rebuild after the devastating storms of summer 2017, not only reflects the United States back as it is, but as it was and as it might be. As much the home of Roy Orbison and Willie Nelson as of J.R., Ross Perot and the Bush family, as filled with magical scenery as with desolate oil-fields and strip-malls, Texas is a bellwether, super-sized mass of contradictions: a life-long study.
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release date: Apr 15, 2010
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Seriously Funny: Poems about Love, Death, Religion, Art, Politics, Sex, and Everything Else

Can serious poetry be funny? Chaucer and Shakespeare would say yes, and so do the authors of these 187 poems that address timeless concerns but that also include comic elements.

Beginning with the Beats and the New York School and continuing with both marquee-name poets and newcomers, Seriously Funny ranges from poems that are capsized by their own tomfoolery to those that glow with quiet wit to ones in which a laugh erupts in the midst of terrible darkness.

Most of the selections were made in the editors’ battered compact car, otherwise known as the Seriously Funny Mobile Unit. During the two years in which Barbara Hamby and David Kirby made their choices, they’d set out with a couple of boxes of books in the back seat, and whoever wasn’t driving read to the other. When they found that a poem made both of them think but laugh as well, they earmarked it.

Readers will find a true generosity in these poems, an eagerness to share ideas and emotions and also to entertain. The singer Ali Farka Touré said that honey is never good when it’s only in one mouth, and the editors of Seriously Funny hope its readers find much to share with others.

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release date: Apr 28, 2015
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Thirteen Days in September: The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace

ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW’ S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Washington PostThe Christian Science Monitor, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, The Economist, The Daily BeastSt. Louis Post-Dispatch


In September 1978, three world leaders—Menachem Begin of Israel, Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and U.S. president Jimmy Carter—met at Camp David to broker a peace agreement between the two Middle East nations. During the thirteen-day conference, Begin and Sadat got into screaming matches and had to be physically separated; both attempted to walk away multiple times. Yet, by the end, a treaty had been forged—one that has quietly stood for more than three decades, proving that peace in the Middle East is possible.
       Wright combines politics, scripture, and the participants’ personal histories into a compelling narrative of the fragile peace process. Begin was an Orthodox Jew whose parents had perished in the Holocaust; Sadat was a pious Muslim inspired since boyhood by stories of martyrdom; Carter, who knew the Bible by heart, was driven by his faith to pursue a treaty, even as his advisers warned him of the political cost. Wright reveals an extraordinary moment of lifelong enemies working together—and the profound difficulties inherent in the process. Thirteen Days in September is a timely revisiting of this diplomatic triumph and an inside look at how peace is made.

release date: Jul 16, 2021
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The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 1st (first) edition
Excellent Book
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