WASHINGTON (Reuters) – An unexpected endorsement from al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has resulted in a huge jump in sales for a book by a critic of U.S. foreign policy.
William Blum’s “Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower” was ranked 209,000 on Amazon.com’s sales list before bin Laden mentioned it in an audiotape released on Thursday. By Friday, the book was No. 30 on the Amazon.com list.
Bin Laden said al Qaeda group was preparing more attacks in the United States but also told Americans, “It is useful for you to read the book ‘The Rogue State.'”
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“I was quite surprised and even shocked and amused when I found out what he’d said,” Blum said on Friday in an interview with Reuters Television in his Washington apartment.
“I was glad. I knew it would help the book’s sales and I was not bothered by who it was coming from.
“If he shares with me a deep dislike for the certain aspects of U.S. foreign policy, then I’m not going to spurn any endorsement of the book by him. I think it’s good that he shares those views and I’m not turned off by that.”
Blum said some friends and family members were afraid the bin Laden endorsement might endanger him but he said there had been no threats and he was not concerned.
Blum’s 320-page book, which was published in 2000, begins with a chapter titled “Why Do Terrorists Keep Picking on the United States.” The first sentence says, “Washington’s war on terrorism is as doomed to failure as its war on drugs has been.”
Other chapters in “The Rogue State” are titled “America’s Gift to the World — the Afghan Terrorist Alumni,” “The U.S. Versus the World at the United Nations” and “How the CIA Sent Nelson Mandela to Prison for 28 Years.”
Blum’s other books include “Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II,” “Freeing the World to Death: Essays on the American Empire” and “West Bloc Dissident: A Cold War Political Memoir.”