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Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War Paperback – April 13, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
I can recall the newspaper accounts of the time, wondering what we were doing there and why, after taking such incredible beatings, we were leaving. Rather than do the research to find out why, Mr. Bowden has compiled this book, which rightfully deserves its place on any historian's bookshelf.
Bowden's accounting of the events and context are flawless. His research is uncommonly thorough, and given the opportunity to write the first really comprehensive accounting of the events, he makes the most of it. His attention to detail, his recreation of the timeline, and his notes are worthy of emulation by future students of history.
All that is nothing without good writing, and Bowden keeps a reader locked into the story. As hard as some of it is to read because of the imagery and concomitant emotional responses, Bowden leads you through the battles at ground level, at eye level from helicopter platforms, at screen level from command centers. At the end of the book one wonders how you survive the reading; how much worse to have been there in it? I was exhausted mentally, and therein lies the demanding aspect of the book.
So much goes on, so many players become involved, that a cheet sheet and glossary of some terms would've helped immensely. Even a cast of characters would've been of some utility, but eventually, I just bore down and focused.Read more ›
Black Hawk Down was recently released as a major motion picture. I haven't (yet) seen the film, but even to those who have I strongly suggest reading this book. In addition to being made as a movie, an even earlier version of this book appeared as a series of articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Additionally, there is a "companion documentary" (Somalia: Good Intentions, Deadly Results), a shorter version of which has appeared on CNN. Of course, the most famous media related to this story is the news footage of the dead American soldiers being dragged through the streets by angry mobs; second to that would be the image of Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant's smashed face in the video made of him by his captors. Both of these are around; if you really need a reminder, try Google.
In the 1990's, the United States found itself in three separate conflicts in (at least partially) Muslim lands. The Gulf War was a conventional military venture, the UN missions in the former Yugoslavia represented a basic-albeit convoluted-peace-keeping venture. The nation-building force in Somalia after the initial famine-busting mission heavily involved special operations. The first sent ripples among the military theorists of nations across the world; the second involved the civilizationally odd American preference to support the Muslim community over that of Orthodox and Western forces; the third was seen as a victory of sorts by Third Worlders and Islamists who drew from it the lesson that America could be shocked into backing out of a conflict.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of the most compelling reads I've had in decades. Unbelievably tense, unbelievably thoroughly researched, brilliantly told. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Constant Reader
A classic in the annals of modern warfare. I can't believe the raid at Mogadishu happened in 1993..... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Joseph H. Race
I read Blackhawk Down over Memorial weekend it reinforced the courage, dedication and the emotional sacrifices that are members and their families pay for our country and way of... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Earl F.
An excellent book by a very good writer. The movie was good but the way Mark Bowden tells the story describes the frustration and tragedy of the events with a level of detail that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by P Jones
Great narrative story and very sad. Breaks my heart that our American soldiers are killed for what ? Nothing .Published 2 months ago by myrna miranda
Excellent book. Highly recommend! Will be reading again in near future.Published 2 months ago by Shane Gadberry
Book Project Critical Review
Black Hawk Down, written by Mark Bowden, a journalist, tells a story about a group of American Soldiers that were sent into... Read more