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Road Work: Among Tyrants, Beasts, Heroes, and Rogues Hardcover – September 8, 2004

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press; First Edition edition (September 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 087113876X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0871138767
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,362,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the bestselling Black Hawk Down, journalist Bowden showed a gift for taking a story and exploring its various avenues, resulting in layered, rich storytelling. Although he doesn't have quite enough room to stretch out with this collection of his short reportage pieces, he still delivers fascinating, and sometimes outsized, slices of life. Bowden has deep affection for detail and character over breaking news or larger issues. For this anthology, he culls mainly from assignments for the Atlantic Monthly, presenting a strong, balanced collection that highlights his formidable writing strengths while accenting his interests. Standout articles include a post-9/11 profile of Saddam Hussein that illuminates the man through details like his wine preference, childhood tattoo and immaculate desk. Other politically inspired pieces, including ones about Bowden's time among American pilots in Afghanistan and his days on the campaign trail with Al Sharpton, are equally fine. But his range isn't confined to politics; Bowden explores high school football, a zoo-dwelling gorilla and the Rocky statue in South Philadelphia. Perhaps the greatest indicator of what makes Bowden so compelling is that an ad for udder supports in a farm publication sends him into the realm of animal husbandry to answer the question, "[W]hy on Earth would a cow need a bra?"
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down and Killing Pablo, here gathers 19 of his nonfiction periodical pieces, dating as far back as 1980 and as recently as June 2004, culled from the pages of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Salon, and Sports Illustrated. Citing his instinct to "zig when everyone else zags," Bowden offers a solidly written and varied collection, including an absorbing study of Saddam Hussein's rise to power, a look at the century-old high-school football rivalry between two St. Louis suburbs (Webster Groves and Kirkwood), a profile of Reverend Al Sharpton on the 2004 primary trail, a paean to the Great Potato Pickoff Play of 1987, a long Inquirer piece on corruption within the Philadelphia police department, a profile of Philadelphia Eagles center Hank Fraley, and Bowden's account of Zambia's illegal rhino trade. Excellent investigative reporting. Alan Moores
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Saperstein HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 11, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mark Bowden is an anachronism, a throwback to the glories of earlier decades when skilled writers used magazine pages to tell real stories. How different from the infotainment and self-aggrandizing puff-pieces so common today.

Bowden's stories were originally written for The Philadelphia Inquirer magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Rolling Stone and others.

His subjects are as diverse as the "Dark Art Of Interrogation" to a study of Norman Mailer, nineteens stories in all and every one fascinating.

A wonderful excursion through the eyes of a man who can not only see, but can write as well.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By NOYDB on August 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Due to the fact it is a collection of pieces on various subjects, it is difficult to characterize. Nevertheless, it is heavily rcommended, simply due to the author. As far as I'm concerned, Mark Bowden is one of the greatest living journalists. Good writing that's generally free from ideology, and filled with blunt honesty.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Internet Middleman on June 21, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I love these anthology works -- it sure beats hunting down all the pieces online or whatever. The range of subjects is impressive. Saddam... bombing taliban... corrupt cops on the take...

Ok... let me confess -- I didn't read every single story in the book. (Sports, not really my thing.) That aside, this book is rad.
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More About the Author

Mark Bowden is the bestselling author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, as well as The Best Game Ever, Bringing the Heat, Killing Pablo, and Guests of the Ayatollah. He reported at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and other magazines. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.

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