Bin Ladin's Boost for Obscure Author

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 at 09:32 AM

William Blum's Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower was ranked 209,000 on's sales list before bin Laden mentioned it in an audiotape released on Thursday. By yesterday, the book was number 30 on the list.

Bin Laden said al Qaida group was preparing more attacks in the US but also told Americans: "It is useful for you to read the book The Rogue State."

"I was quite surprised and even shocked and amused when I found out what he'd said," Blum said yesterday 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 US 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