Flipkart Official Review
“The Siege” is one of those books that makes you constantly think of it – may be becauseof what happened and may be because of how it turned out, for whatever reason; it is also the powerful writing that adds to it. The attacks on the Taj were to a larger extent – a symbolism on how a city was brought to its knees in three days and the way it retaliated.
The book explores every angle, incident and aftermath of the attack. It traces every single motive – Hadley’s involvement and the planning aspect as well. The writing is fast-paced and yet makes the reader ponder and linger over the entire attack. The Taj, The Oberoi, Leopold, CST and an old building whose residents were held ransom, did not just remain places – they transformed to being a fabric of the city which no one would ever forget. A read not to be missed at all
The Siege: The Attack On The Taj chronicles the November 2008 terrorist attacks unleashed in Mumbai in many places, including the Taj Palace Hotel.
Summary Of The Book
Tightened security, heightened surveillance, and rigorous measures to prevent attacks, all seem futile at times, when terror and slaughter of innocent people happens in public places, where people should usually be safe. The November 26, 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai was one such event.
The Siege: The Attack On The Taj chronicles the ordeal of some of the people who experienced the terror of that day, and it also tells the story of the few young men who were brainwashed into thinking that murdering innocent people would somehow grant them a place in heaven.
The book begins by describing an ordinary day at the historic and luxurious Taj Palace Hotel in Mumbai. A wedding, some banquets and a birthday party were all scheduled for that day. The hotel staff was busy with the preparations for a new day of serving the guests. A day that should have been like any other day, but wasn’t.
Four gunmen entered the hotel, and began to open fire, killing indiscriminately, while holding other people hostage. The siege lasted for hours, terrorizing the guests and staff, while the media went into high gear, providing a sensational coverage of the events as they unfolded.
The men who carried out the attack, say the authors, were from very poor families. They were stunned by the luxury and opulence of the hotel. They had been somehow convinced to carry out a suicidal attack with the promise of a glorious life in the hereafter.
Dramatically reconstructing many of the events of that day, the authors also analyze the background of the attack, the delay in the response, political maneuvering, the media's irresponsible coverage, all of which led to confusion and delays in the arrival of the elite response team that then laid a counter siege on the hotel and elsewhere to bring down the terrorists.
The Siege: The Attack On The Taj tells of how the young men from remote villages and their handlers behind the scene used the media and high-tech devices to stay one step ahead in the game. They made use of cellphones, Google maps and GPS systems, even identifying individual hostages from the descriptions provided by the gunmen.
The book, while providing a very intimate and intimidating account of the day, also raises many questions that are left unanswered.
About The Authors
Adrian Levy is an English journalist and filmmaker.
Other books by this author are The Stone of Heaven, and The Amber Room.
Adrian Levy specializes in long-form investigative work, mostly centering around South Asia, He began his career in the Bolton Evening Mail, later working for the Yorkshire Post, The Sunday Times and joined The Guardian in 2001. Among his most popular work is Stone of Heaven, where he, along with Scott-Clark, traveled to jadeite mines in Burma, which used bonded labour in its operations.
Cathy Scott Clark is a journalist with over 20 years of experience.
Another book by this author is The Meadow.
Cathy Scott Clark has worked mainly with The Sunday Times and The Guardian, as a foreign correspondent and investigative journalist. She won the One World Media award in 2004.
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