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Extended Audio Sample Black Hawk Down, by Mark Bowden Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (19,303 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Bowden Narrator: Joe Morton Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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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 US Special Forces and puts you in the middle of the most intense firelight American soldiers have fought since the Vietnam war.

Late in the afternoon of Sunday, October 3, 1993, the soldiers of Task Form Ranger was send 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, 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 felled 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.

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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I can't remember having read such good reporting of a combat engagement…Journalistic writing at its best.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Terrifyingly real…Mark Bowden shoves you into the middle of this fierce battle and has you fighting for your life.”

    US Army Major David Stockwell, spokesman for Task Force Ranger

  • “A riveting, up-close account of the most intensive, hand-to-hand combat by US 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, coauthor 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, US Army (Ret.), author of Mike Force, A Mission for Delta, and Clash of Steel

  • “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

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An ALA Notable Book Finalist for Nonfiction
  • A 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by T.M. Mullin | 2/5/2014

    " I had watched the movie and had a hard time figuring out exactly what happened to whom. The fog of war was definitely incorporated into the script. The book was, of course, much clearer and provided the political background, including why the Somali's were so distrustful of the U.N. troops. Bowden is a good writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Brad | 1/24/2014

    " Excellent book about modern warfare. It may be about an incident almost 20 years ago, but a lot of it still rings true today. A very personal look at different soldiers. I read the book over 10 years ago, and this time I listened to the audio version. I think I enjoyed it and understood it much more this time around. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tom Holt | 8/16/2013

    " Amazing insights into the horrors of modern war and the mental and physical challenges men face in the toughest of times. Brilliantly written and researched. A modern classic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Clayton Rohman | 7/21/2013

    " Unfortunately I read this after watching the movie so I knew almost every story line, but as a fan of stories about war, this is a horrific look at modern war and an eye opening view at how different each side of the world is.... "

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