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Black Hawk Down

Book Review

 

Title:

Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

Author:

Mark Bowden

ISBN:

0-4512-0393-3

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

September, 2001

Rating:

Recently released in a second edition paperback version, Black Hawk Down tells the story of the most intense engagement by United States military forces since the Gulf War. The setting for this firefight is the war  torn capital of Somalia, Mogadishu.

Get more information about Black Hawk Down at Amazon.comWhat began as a short two-hour mission quickly degenerated into a bloody free-for-all battle lasting all night. By the time it was over, there are literally thousands  of casualties on both sides. The reader gets a front row seat to the drama as one thing after another goes wrong for the Special Forces troops. Not only does  the author tell us the story as it unfolds, he re-creates the actual dialog of the participants based on recordings and their recollections. This touch  personalizes the drama in a unique fashion.

Mark Bowden provides close-up glimpses of the personalities  of the combatants on both sides obtained by extensive research. He shows us  the motivations and heroism of the Special Forces members tasked with the difficult kidnapping mission of warlord leaders. We also get to see the viewpoint of the average Mogadishu resident, furious over cavalier treatment by an occupying  army and their growing resentment that spills over into the streets. He also  contrasts the feelings of the participants on both sides in the context of their personal and family lives.

How many spinning cubes to give this book, hmmmmmmmmm? Well, it is a dynamic and gripping presentation of this intense firefight as has never been presented elsewhere. The amount of research and attention to  detail pays off by showing the battle from every angle possible and from the  individual viewpoints of the participants. Too bad we can't add more spinning cubes to the rating system, since this is a excellent, one of a kind paperback for anybody that enjoys military or action stories. It keeps you glued to your seat for chapter after chapter.

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