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January 25, 2006

Get ready for Osama’s Book Club

Like Oprah Winfrey, it seems Osama bin Laden can send a book rocketing up the charts with a simple mention. An unexpected endorsement from the al Qaeda leader in his recent audiotaped message helped William Blum’s Rogue State: A Guide to the World’s Only Superpower leap to No. 30 on Amazon’s list last Friday (it’s at No. 30 now), after languishing around No. 209,000, give or take. “It is useful for you to read the book Rogue State,” bin Laden told Americans in the message. In an interview with Reuters Television, Blum said he did not, in fact, mess his trousers upon hearing the news. “I was glad,” he said. “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 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.”

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