Synopses & Reviews
From Mark Bowden, the preeminent chronicler of our military and special forces, comes The Finish
, a gripping account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With access to key sources, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
After masterminding the attacks of September 11, 2001, Osama bin Laden managed to vanish. Over the next ten years, as Bowden shows, America found that its war with al Qaeda a scattered group of individuals who were almost impossible to track demanded an innovative approach. Step by step, Bowden describes the development of a new tactical strategy to fight this war the fusion of intel from various agencies and on-the-ground special ops. After thousands of special forces missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, the right weapon to go after bin Laden had finally evolved. By Spring 2011, intelligence pointed to a compound in Abbottabad; it was estimated that there was a 50/50 chance that Osama was there. Bowden shows how three strategies were mooted: a drone strike, a precision bombing, or an assault by Navy SEALs. In the end, the President had to make the final decision. It was time for the finish.
"Bestselling author Bowden (Black Hawk Down) follows the long and often cold trail from 9/11 to a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where 'a hand-picked... Dream Team' of U.S. Navy SEALs killed Osama bin Laden, in this sketchy and surprisingly vapid account. Relying on interviews with President Barack Obama and many of the national security officials directly involved in the planning of the mission, Bowden shows how 'a sophisticated targeting engine' that included supercomputers and surveillance drones tracked down the elusive terrorist mastermind beginning with a single name. Bowden did not interview any of the SEAL team members on the raid, and the action takes place mostly in comfortable government offices far from the tip of the spear. Despite silence from the SEALs, the omniscient author knows what was on their minds ('The one thing... always in their thoughts was danger...') and in their hearts (they 'were veterans of many raids, hardened to violence and death'). The hero of Bowden's narrative seems to be Obama, who risked his presidency on the type of uncertain raid that had doomed Jimmy Carter. Readers expecting a detailed, dramatic account of the raid on the Abbottabad compound will be disappointed. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Oct. 16)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for Mark Bowden:
Amazing . . . One of the most intense, visceral reading experiences imaginable. . . . The individual stories are woven together in such a compelling and expert fashion, the narrative flows so seamlessly, that its hard to imagine that this is not fiction.”The Philadelphia Inquirer on Black Hawk Down
The reader can visualize the action, smell the dust and sweat and the reek of explosives, and even enter into the exultation, fear, rage, pain, confusion, and exhaustion of the combatants. . . . Because he was able to interview survivors on both sides relatively soon after the action, Bowdens story has a vitality and freshness usually lacking in accounts of combat.”The New York Review of Books on Black Hawk Down
One of the most gripping and authoritative accounts of combat ever written.”USA Today on Black Hawk Down
A compelling, almost Shakespearean tale.”Los Angeles Times on Killing Pablo
Heart-stopping, and heart-breaking.”New York Times Book Review on Guests of the Ayatollah
"There wasn't a meeting when someone didn't mention Black Hawk Down
." A senior Obama administration official, as quoted in the New York Times
From Mark Bowden, internationally bestselling and acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and the preeminent chronicler of the actions of our military and special forces writing today, comes an intensely gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. With unprecedented access to key sources and his great gift for storytelling, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
The story focuses on Bin Laden, who maintained a stream of despairing correspondence in hiding in the year before his death, and on President Obama, perceived by many as an anti-war candidate, whose evolving views and enormous responsibilities have turned him into one of the most determined warriors to ever inhabit the White House.
Bowden's book is an unrivaled account of the most high-profile special forces operation ever to have been undertaken, and a page-turning narrative of how the man behind 9/11 was finally brought to justice.
About the Author
Mark Bowden is the author of nine books, including the #1 New York Times best seller Black Hawk Down. He reported at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and other magazines. His most recent book is Worm: The First Digital World War.