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Mark Bowden (1) (1951–)

Author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

For other authors named Mark Bowden, see the disambiguation page.

25+ Works 9,621 Members 193 Reviews 25 Favorited

About the Author

Mark Bowden has been a reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty-one years and has won many national awards for his writing. He is the author of "Black Hawk Down," "Bringing the Heat," "Doctor Dealer", "Killing Pablo: The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw." and, more recently, The Finish: show more "The Killing of Osama bin Laden", and Hue 1968: A Turning point of the American war in Vietnam. Bowden has also written for Talk, Men's Journal, Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and Playboy, among others. The original series of articles which became "Black Hawk Down" earned him the Overseas Press Club's Hal Boyle Award, and made him a finalist for the NBA in nonfiction. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Mark Bowden

Bringing the Heat (1994) 66 copies

Associated Works

Once There Was a War (1943) — Introduction, some editions — 891 copies
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 (2003) — Contributor — 746 copies
The New Kings of Nonfiction (2007) — Contributor — 736 copies
The Best American Science Writing 2011 (2011) — Contributor — 85 copies
The Best American Magazine Writing 2004 (2004) — Contributor — 82 copies
The New Great American Writers' Cookbook (2003) — Contributor — 21 copies


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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Bowden, Mark
Legal name
Bowden, Mark Robert
St. Louis, Missouri, Etats-Unis
Places of residence
St. Louis, Missouri, USA
Oxford, Pennsylvania, USA
Loyola University Maryland
Baltimore News-American
The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Atlantic Monthly
Vanity Fair
Loyola University Maryland
University of Delaware
Awards and honors
Overseas Press Club's Hal Boyle Award (for original articles later used in Black Hawk Down)
National Book Award in Nonfiction finalist (for original articles later used in Black Hawk Down)
Short biography
Mark Bowden reported at the Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for The Atlantic and other magazines. Matthew Teague is a contributor to National Geographic, The Atlantic, Esquire, and other magazines,… [adapted from Grove Atlantic]



I really love Bowden’s writing style. I’m a huge fan of [b:Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War|55403|Black Hawk Down A Story of Modern War|Mark Bowden|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1442149156s/55403.jpg|1041952] and I wasn’t disappointed by this one either. Bowden tells the story of one of the pivotal battles of the Vietnam war utilizing eye witness account, news stories and primary source information from archives and libraries. It was the first urban battle fought by the US military since the Korean War over 15 years prior. The story is told from both sides and also has some insight from the civilian perspective. There are stories of incredible individual bravery and also just plain luck, leaving the reader with the wonder how anyone survived this battle.

Bowden does a good job of summarizing the political environment surrounding the battle and the attitude in general of the American public to the war in late ’67/early ’68. The Tet offensive caught the American leadership completely by surprise and a week into the battle were still in denial as to the scale of the attack on Hue. Wesmoreland isn’t portrayed in a particularly good light, his repeated and blatant denials of what was really going on somewhat unbelievable but plainly reflected in the TV interviews and declassified communiques of the time. One of Bowden’s conclusions and main points is that the Tet offensive and its aftermath would forever change America’s attitude toward her leaders - they would never again be blindly trusted.

I highly recommend this book. If one is interested in the entire conflict, watch the excellent eighteen or so hour PBS documentary series on the Vietnam War produced by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. A whole episode is spent on Tet, with pretty much the same conclusions as Bowden.
… (more)
amurray914 | 16 other reviews | Feb 27, 2024 |
History at its best. Bowden puts you on the bridge, dodging bullets. And you know why you're on that bridge and who screwed up to make it so.
ben_r47 | 16 other reviews | Feb 22, 2024 |
Some great stories and some okay stories...
dlinnen | 3 other reviews | Feb 3, 2024 |
An intriguing, beguiling, fascinating, daunting, and sobering story for the wonk in the deepest part of me. Years from now this may be seen as the first of many books about digital warfare. And the question may linger: why didn't we do more back then?
dlinnen | 12 other reviews | Feb 3, 2024 |



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