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No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission that Killed Osama bin Ladenby Mark Owen and Kevin Maurer
Synopses & Reviews
For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moments.
From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group — commonly known as SEAL team Six — has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.
"The arch-terrorist's death was 'just another job,' according to this gung-ho memoir by a member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six that dispatched him. The pseudonymous Owen's (revealed by Fox News to be Matt Bissonnette) story is 'generalized' and scrubbed of 'classified information' but authentic enough to provoke Pentagon legal threats and convey a compelling realism. His meticulous narrative of the raid adds new wrinkles to the conventional account — he insists that Bin Laden did not try to fight or hide behind his wives before he was shot, unarmed, while peeking through a doorway (Owen sneers at his unpreparedness) — along with atmospheric details, from the terror of an initial helicopter crash to his cleaning of blood from Bin Laden's face for identifying photos. The raid caps Owen's well-observed memoir of training ordeals, awesome gear, bonding and banter, and special ops in Iraq and Afghanistan; co-author Maurer shapes these missions into tense scenes of strategizing, stealth and action. This is not a reflective book; the righteousness of post-9/11 military adventures is self-evident to Owen, and he worries only about measuring up to the SEAL standard of lethal teamwork. Still, it paints an absorbing portrait of the work-a-day soldierly professionalism that proved Bin Laden's nemesis. Photos. (Sept. 4)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"This harrowing, minute-by-minute account by one of the highly trained members of Navy SEAL Team Six is narrative nonfiction at its most gripping, taking the reader through the mountains of Afghanistan and inside the slightly dilapidated-looking family compound in Pakistan." Entertainment Weekly
“The bin Laden story is the marquee event in No Easy Day, of course. But the formative steps in the authors own story are just as gripping. Mr. Owen's new information about the Abbottobad attacks adds a human element to much of what has been previously reported. There is no better illustration in No Easy Day that SEALs are ruthless pragmatists. They think fast. They adapt to whatever faces them. They do what they have to do.” Janet Maslin, New York Times
“The book is a stomach-twisting close-up look at that historic mission in Abbottabad, told from the point of view of a super-elite member of SEAL Team Six who fired a bullet into bin Laden and helped carry away the corpse. Written in clean, polished prose...No Easy Day often reads like a gripping novel as the author recounts remarkably vivid details....No Easy Day puts you right there for every tense moment.” Entertainment Weekly
"A cast of characters, including Owen himself, artfully drawn, yet painfully human, passionate descriptions of a lifestyle that few are privy to, as well as its breathlessly paced, inexorable march toward an inevitable ending…it's a remarkably intimate glimpse into what motivates men striving to join an elite fighting force like the SEALs — and what keeps them there.” Associated Press
“Make no mistake: No Easy Day is an important historic document. Think if we had a first-person account of the last minutes of Hitler in his bunker. No Easy Day is brisk and compelling in its telling of the training, execution and immediate aftermath of the Bin Laden mission by the elite SEAL Team Six.” Los Angeles Times
“[Mark Owen] has given us a brave retelling of one of the most important events in U.S. military history.” People Magazine
“The writing is fast-paced, and Owen and Maurer tell some good yarns in a conversational style. They also neatly capture the camaraderie, the pranks, the constant training and the evident love that the men of SEAL Team 6 have for their jobs." Washington Post
No Easy Day puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen's life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden's death, is an essential piece of modern history.
In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America's ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen's story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs' quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.
About the Author
Mark Owen is a former member of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six. In his many years as a Navy SEAL, he has participated in hundreds of missions around the globe, including the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean in 2009. Owen was a team leader on Operation Neptune Spear in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 1, 2011, which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Owen was one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist mastermind's hideout, where he witnessed Bin Laden's death. Mark Owen's name and the names of the other SEALs mentioned in No Easy Day have been changed for their security.
Kevin Maurer has covered special-operations forces for nine years. He has been embedded with the Special Forces in Afghanistan six times, spent a month in 2006 with special-operations units in east Africa, and has embedded with US forces in Iraq and Haiti. He is the author of four books, including several about special operations.
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