ADDRESSES: Offıce—International Strategic Studies Association, P.O. Box 20407, Alexandria, VA 22320; fax: 703-684-7476. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Regan Books, HarperCollins, 10 East 53rd St., Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10022. E-mail—ybodansky@ strategicstudies.org.
CAREER: U.S. House of Representatives, Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, director, 1988; International Strategic Studies Association, director of research; Freeman Center for Strategic Studies, Houston, TX, special consultant on international terrorism; U.S. Departments of State and Defense, senior consultant; Johns Hopkins University, visiting scholar, security studies program.
Terror!: The Inside Story of the Terrorist Conspiracy in America, Spibooks (New York, NY), 1994.
Crisis in Korea: The Emergence of a New Nuclear Power, Spibooks (New York, NY), 1994.
Offensive in the Balkans: The Potential for a Wider War as a Result of Foreign Intervention in Bosnia-Herzegovina, International Media Corp. (London, England), 1995.
Some Call It Peace: Waiting for War in the Balkans, International Media Corp. (London, England), 1996.
Islamic Anti-Semitism as a Political Instrument, Freeman Center for Strategic Studies (Houston, TX), 1999.
Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America, Prima Publishing (Rocklin, CA), 1999, 2nd edition, 2001.
The High Cost of Peace: How Washington's Middle-East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism, Forum (Roseville, CA), 2002.
The Secret History of the Iraq War, ReganBooks (New York, NY), 2004.
Contributor to books, including International Military & Defense Encyclopedia. Contributor to periodicals, including Jane's Defense Weekly, Business Week, Defense and Foreign Affairs, Strategic Policy, Nativ, and Global Affairs. Senior editor, Defense & Foreign Affairs.
ADAPTATIONS: Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America was adapted for audiocassette by Blackstone Audiobooks (Ashland, OR), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Yossef Bodansky is an internationally renowned military and threat analyst and terrorism expert. His book Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America is an account of the United States' most-wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden. Bodansky explores bin Laden's life in depth, beginning with his status as a son and heir of a billionaire building contractor. The young bin Laden was "a barroom brawler and womanizer," commented James J. Moran in Marine Corps Gazette, who eventually "came to believe that exposure to western life would lead to the ultimate destruction of Islam and saw no solution but Islamic militancy." Bodansky explains bin Laden's role in resisting the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, where his fearlessness earned him the respect of fellow Arab fighters. His willingness to give of his fortune, and of himself, made him a hero among the Afghans. Bodansky also explains bin Laden's pivotal role in the 1993 confrontation in Somalia between U.S. forces and a local Muslim warlord, a failed U.S. mission that resulted in eighteen deaths and the removal of U.S. troops from the country. He discusses in detail the terrorist network bin Laden developed to attack the United States. "The book is gripping but incredibly depressing—after a while, the reader is so sickened by the callousness, the inhumanity, the treachery and duplicity, the sheer worship of death and destruction, the whole nest of vipers exposed here, that you want to just put the book down and go outside to breathe some fresh air," commented Sophie Masson in Quadrant.
Originally published in 1999, a paperback edition of Bin Laden was released shortly after the attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001. In hindsight, the work must have seemed prescient; two years before the attacks, Bodansky "eloquently articulates bin Laden's desire to launch 'spectacular' terrorist strikes against the United States," observed Gary Slater in Leatherneck. Reviewing the book for Security Management, James T. Dunne called the book "an interesting compilation of events surrounding the near-mythic bin Laden, but [it] should be considered neither the final analysis nor the gospel truth." Human Events reviewer Joseph A. D'Agostino wrote that "the well-researched and well-argued Bin Laden is a thorough history of the man and his ideological development." Slater called Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America "Bodansky's masterwork, an exhaustive account of the rise and specter of the Islamic terror movement." Bodansky "has written a book we all should study," Moran commented. "As the war on terrorism continues, we can all benefit in gaining a deeper understanding of our enemy. This book is an excellent beginning."
In The High Cost of Peace: How Washington's Middle-East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism, Bodansky "charts a series of Middle East policy missteps that he claims antagonized al Qaeda into striking the United States," commented Mark Strauss in Washington Post Book World. Primary among them are former U.S. president Bill Clinton's attempts to broker a peace agreement between Palestine and Israel—an agreement that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat never intended to honor, Bodansky asserts. He "believes that Clinton's pursuit of a legacy was precisely the problem," Strauss remarked. He "suggests that Clinton irresponsibly poked the Islamist hornet's nest with a stick when he fostered a flawed Middle East peace process" between Palestine and Israel during the Oslo peace negotiations, Strauss noted. National Review critic David Pryce-Jones called the book "a formidable and sustained attack on the Oslo peace process, presenting it from first to last as an exercise in wishful thinking." "The book's details are exceptional, with information from many sources, including data seemingly from Israeli intelligence," noted Herman Reinhold in Military Review. Gregory R. Copley, reviewing the book in Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, called The High Cost of Peace: How Washington's Middle-East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism "one of the most powerful and persuasive books of the decade," and concluded that "it will influence policies."
The Secret History of the Iraq War explores the reasons behind going to war in Iraq to topple the regime of Saddam Hussein. It also provides "a sober and revealing assessment of why (despite the excellence of our forces) it has been so hard to win security and stability for postwar Iraq," noted a reviewer on the Conservative Book Service Web site. Bodansky explains "why there is simply no doubt that America had an urgent imperative to go to war against Iraq when it did," including collaboration between Iraq's intelligence services and Osama bin Laden's terrorist network, as well as Iraq's ongoing involvement in international terror and the activities of al Qaeda, the Conservative Book Service Web site critic commented. The same critic called the book "All inclusive, revelatory, and perceptive" in its analysis and conclusions.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, January 1, 2003, Karen Harris, review of Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America audiobook, p. 920.
Defense & Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy, September, 20002, Gregory R. Copley, review of The High Cost of Peace: How Washington's Middle East Policy Left America Vulnerable to Terrorism, p. 10.
Human Events, August 20, 1999, Joseph A. D'Agostino, "Conservative Spotlight: Yossef Bodansky," p. 17; October 22, 2001, Joseph A. D'Agostino, review of Bin Laden, p. 14.
Jerusalem Report, December 20, 1999, Jael Haran, review of Bin Laden, p. 50.
Leatherneck, April, 2002, Gary Slater, review of Bin Laden, p. 56.
Library Journal, March 1, 2002, review of The High Cost of Peace, section S, p. 17; November 15, 2002, Joseph L. Carlson, review of Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America audiobook, p. 119.
Marine Corps Gazette, November, 2001, Alfred B. Connable, review of Bin Laden, p. 85; July, 2003, James J. Moran, review of Bin Laden, p. 52.
Middle East Journal, spring, 2003, Duncan Clarke, review of The High Cost of Peace, p. 349.
Military Review, January-February, 2004, Herman Reinhold, review of The High Cost of Peace, p. 91.
National Review, December 9, 2002, David Pryce-Jones, review of The High Cost of Peace, p. 49.
Publishers Weekly, July 26, 1999, review of Bin Laden, p. 78; September 24, 2001, review of Bin Laden, p. 13; September 30, 2002, review of The High Cost of Peace, p. 61.
Quadrant, December, 2001, Sophie Masson, review of Bin Laden, p. 85.
Rapport, Volume 17, issue 6, 1994, Brian W. Firth, review of Target America, p. 30; Volume 18, issue 5, 1995, Brian W. Firth, review of Crisis in Korea: The Emergence of a New Nuclear Power, p. 34.
Security Management, March, 2000, James T. Dunne, review of Bin Laden, p. 118.
Washington Post Book World, October 20, 2002, Mark Strauss, "Reaping the Whirlwind," review of The High Cost of Peace, p. T3.
Ariel Center for Policy Research Web site,http://www.acpr.org.il/ (October 8, 2004), "Yossef Bodansky."
Conservative Book Service Web site, http://www.conservativebookservice.org/ (November 8, 2004), "What Really Happened (and Is Happening) in the Iraq War—And Why Victory over Global Terrorism Hangs in the Balance There Now."
Freeman Center for Strategic Studies,http://www.freeman.org/ (October 8, 2004), "Yossef Bodansky."
International Strategic Studies Association Web site,http://www.strategicstudies.org/ (October 8, 2004).*