9780802144737

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

Bowden, Mark

ISBN 10: 080214473X / 0-8021-4473-X
ISBN 13: 9780802144737
Publisher: Grove Press
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis:
Already a classic of war reporting and now reissued as a Grove Press paperback, Black Hawk Down is Mark Bowden’s brilliant account of the longest sustained firefight involving American troops since the Vietnam War. On October 3, 1993, about a hundred elite U.S. soldiers were dropped by helicopter into the teeming market in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia. Their mission was to abduct two top lieutenants of a Somali warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take an hour. Instead, they found themselves pinned down through a long and terrible night fighting against thousands of heavily armed Somalis. The following morning, eighteen Americans were dead and more than seventy had been badly wounded.
Drawing on interviews from both sides, army records, audiotapes, and videos (some of the material is still classified), Bowden’s minute-by-minute narrative is one of the most exciting accounts of modern combat ever written—a riveting story that captures the heroism, courage, and brutality of battle.

Review:
Journalist Mark Bowden delivers a strikingly detailed account of the 1993 nightmare operation in Mogadishu that left 18 American soldiers dead and many more wounded. This early foreign-policy disaster for the Clinton administration led to the resignation of Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and a total troop withdrawal from Somalia. Bowden does not spend much time considering the context; instead he provides a moment-by-moment chronicle of what happened in the air and on the ground. His gritty narrative tells of how Rangers and elite Delta Force troops embarked on a mission to capture a pair of high-ranking deputies to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid only to find themselves surrounded in a hostile African city. Their high-tech MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters had been shot down and a number of other miscues left them trapped through the night. Bowden describes Mogadishu as a place of Mad Max-like anarchy--implying strongly that there was never any peace for the supposed peacekeepers to keep. He makes full use of the defense bureaucracy's extensive paper trail--which includes official reports, investigations, and even radio transcripts--to describe the combat with great accuracy, right down to the actual dialogue. He supplements this with hundreds of his own interviews, turning Black Hawk Down into a completely authentic nonfiction novel, a lively page-turner that will make readers feel like they're standing beside the embattled troops. This will quickly be realized as a modern military classic. --John J. Miller

Review

Review:
Ninety-nine elite American soldiers are trapped in the middle of a hostile city. As night falls, they are surrounded by thousands of enemy gunmen. Their wounded are bleeding to death. Their ammunition and supplies are dwindling. This is the story of how they got there-and how they fought their way out. This is the story of war. Black Hawk Down drops you into a crowded marketplace in the heart of Mogadishu, Somalia with the U.S. Special Forces-and puts you in the middle of the most intense firefight American soldiers have fought since the Vietnam War. Late in the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, 1993, the soldiers of Task Force Ranger were sent on a mission to capture two top lieutenants of a renegade warlord and return to base. It was supposed to take them about an hour. Instead, they were pinned down through a long and terrible night in a hostile city, locked in a desperate struggle to kill or be killed. When the unit was finally rescued the following morning, eighteen American soldiers were dead and dozens more badly injured. The Somali toll was far worse: more than five hundred killed and over a thousand wounded.

Award-winning literary journalist Mark Bowden's dramatic narrative captures this harrowing ordeal through the eyes of the young men who fought that day. He draws on his extensive interviews of participants from both sides-as well as classified combat video and radio transcripts-to bring their stories to life. A Black Hawk pilot is shot down and besieged by an angry mob, then saved by Somalis who plan to ransom him to the local warlord. A medic desperately tries to keep his grievously wounded friend alive long enough to be evacuated-only to have him bleed to death in his arms. The company clerk, who is the butt of jokes in the barracks, rises to the task and per-forms extraordinary feats of valor.

Authoritative, gripping, and insightful, Black Hawk Down is a riveting look at the terror and exhilaration of combat, destined to become a classic of war reporting.

"Terrifyingly real . . . Mark Bowden shoves you into the middle of this fierce battle and has you fighting for your life."-U.S. Army Major David Stockwell, spokesman for Task Force Ranger

"A riveting, up-close account of the most intensive, hand-to-hand combat by U.S. soldiers since Vietnam. In their own words, Mark Bowden has captured the heroism, honor, and horror of the battle of Mogadishu for both Americans and Somalis."-United States Ambassador Robert Oakley (Ret.), author of Somalia and Operation Restore Hope

"A fascinating, blow-by-blow account of the Mogadishu raid that went wrong and cost the lives of so many brave American warriors . . .Meticulous reporting."-Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . and Young

"The only thing more phenomenal than the depth of reporting in Black Hawk Down is the quality of the writing. Mark Bowden is a brilliant storyteller."-Jim Naughton, president of the Poynter Institute for Journalism

"Bowden [has] produced one of the finest pieces of investigative journalism of our time. . . . [You] can feel, hear, smell, and even taste it."-Lt. Col. L. H. "Bucky" Burruss, U.S. Army (Ret.),author of Mike Force, A Mission for Delta, and Clash of Steel

"I can't remember having read such good reporting of a combat engagement.. . . Journalistic writing at its best."-Don Murray, Boston Globe

"I did not 'read' Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down . . . I devoured it. It is a compelling tale of noble endeavor gone awry, written with such clarity and insight that the reader quivers as if trapped in the desperate, close-quarters firefight Bowden's gifted narrative brings to life." -Benjamin F. Schemmer, editor in chief, Strategic Review

Mark Bowden is the author of Bringing the Heat and Doctor Dealer. He has been a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer for nineteen years and has won many national awards for his writing, including the Overseas Press Club's Hal Boyle Award for Best Foreign Reporting for his original series on the Battle of Mogadishu, which has appeared in ten newspapers across the nation. Bowden has also written for Men's Journal, Sports Illustrated, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Parade, and other magazines. He is currently at work on a screenplay for the motion picture version of Black Hawk Down with Jerry Bruckheimer Films.

From the Back Cover

 

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Book Description: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. 218 x 132 mm. Brand New Book. In 1993, a band of U.S. soldiers in Somalia were on a mission to capture two lieutenants of a Somali warlord. Through the night, in the longest sustained fighting by American troops since Vietnam, they battled thousands of armed Somalis. By morning, 18 Americans were dead. Now a major motion picture from Columbia Pictures, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett, and Sam Shepard, set for release in March 2002. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780802144737

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Book Description: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press, United States, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. 218 x 132 mm. Brand New Book. In 1993, a band of U.S. soldiers in Somalia were on a mission to capture two lieutenants of a Somali warlord. Through the night, in the longest sustained fighting by American troops since Vietnam, they battled thousands of armed Somalis. By morning, 18 Americans were dead. Now a major motion picture from Columbia Pictures, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Ewan McGregor, Josh Hartnett, and Sam Shepard, set for release in March 2002. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780802144737

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