BLACK HAWK DOWN
A NEW YORK TIMES
NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST
From acclaimed director Ridley Scott and renowned producer Jerry Bruckheimer comes a riveting motion picture scripted by Ken Nolan as depicted in this bestselling audiobook by author Mark Bowden. Based on actual events, Black Hawk Down is the heroic account of a group of elite U.S. soldiers sent into Mogadishu, Somalia in 1993 as part of a U.N. peacekeeping operation. Their mission: to capture several top lieutenants of the Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid, as part of a strategy to quell the civil war and famine that is ravaging the country.
Young Rangers and veteran Delta Force soldiers fight side by side against overwhelming odds. For eighteen harrowing hours, they remain trapped and wounded in the most hostile district of Mogadishu until a rescue convoy can be mounted to retrieve them. Outnumbered and surrounded, tensions flare, friends are lost, alliances are formed, and soldiers learn the true nature of war and heroism.
Journalist Mark Bowden delivers a strikingly detailed account of the 1993 nightmare operation in Mogadishu that left 18 American soldiers dead and many more wounded. This early foreign-policy disaster for the Clinton administration led to the resignation of Secretary of Defense Les Aspin and a total troop withdrawal from Somalia. Bowden does not spend much time considering the context; instead he provides a moment-by-moment chronicle of what happened in the air and on the ground. His gritty narrative tells of how Rangers and elite Delta Force troops embarked on a mission to capture a pair of high-ranking deputies to warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid only to find themselves surrounded in a hostile African city. Their high-tech MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters had been shot down and a number of other miscues left them trapped through the night. Bowden describes Mogadishu as a place of Mad Max-like anarchy--implying strongly that there was never any peace for the supposed peacekeepers to keep. He makes full use of the defense bureaucracy's extensive paper trail--which includes official reports, investigations, and even radio transcripts--to describe the combat with great accuracy, right down to the actual dialogue. He supplements this with hundreds of his own interviews, turning Black Hawk Down into a completely authentic nonfiction novel, a lively page-turner that will make readers feel like they're standing beside the embattled troops. This will quickly be realized as a modern military classic. --John J. Miller