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The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden Paperback – June 11, 2013
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Unlike "No Easy Day," the Bin Laden raid comprises only one chapter of "The Finish," which, according to Bowden, draws upon Owens' account for details. Both should be read, along with Esquire magazine's recent article, "The Shooter," in order to begin framing an opinion on what happened that night. Two facts emerge -- one, there was practically no chance bin Laden was going to be taken alive; and two, the "fog of war" is a real thing. We have three accounts, maybe four if you count Zero Dark Thirty, and maybe three different versions of what happened.
Bowden, a professional journalist and author of "Blackhawk Down" and "Killing Pablo," among others, is always an entertaining writer. However, one is somewhat left with the impression that this book was rushed to print in reaction to news events.
My problem with the book is that Bowden shared a story, but not much in the way of deep insight. The book reads as if Bowden generally agrees with President Obama's world view, history and insights without much critical analysis (e.g., Afghanistan was a good war; Iraq was a bad war). Administration officials, including the President are quoted at length, but little they assert is analyzed.
I kept telling myself that he is telling the story of the search/attack, not an analysis of political philosophy, or American politics. But a little more context would have strengthened the work.