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About Mark Bowden
Mark Bowden is the bestselling author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, as well as The Best Game Ever, Bringing the Heat, Killing Pablo, and Guests of the Ayatollah. He reported at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and other magazines. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
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“A gripping ground-level narrative…a marvel of reporting: tightly wound… but also panoramic.”—Washington Post
“A lean, fast-paced and important account of the chaotic final weeks.”—New York Times
In The Steal, veteran journalists Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague offer a week-by-week, state-by-state account of the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
In the sixty-four days between November 3 and January 6, President Donald Trump and his allies fought to reverse the outcome of the vote. Focusing on six states—Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—Trump’s supporters claimed widespread voter fraud.
Caught up in this effort were scores of activists, lawyers, judges, and state and local officials. Working with a team of researchers and reporters, Bowden and Teague uncover never-before-told accounts from the election officials fighting to do their jobs amid outlandish claims and threats to themselves, their colleagues, and their families. The Steal is an engaging, in-depth report on what happened during those crucial nine weeks and a portrait of the dedicated individuals who did their duty and stood firm against the unprecedented, sustained attack on our election system and ensured that every legal vote was counted and that the will of the people prevailed.
Drawing on interviews from both sides, army records, audiotapes, and videos (some of the material is still classified), Bowden’s minute-by-minute narrative is one of the most exciting accounts of modern combat ever writtena riveting story that captures the heroism, courage, and brutality of battle.
On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, ages ten and twelve, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and the mystery endured.
Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware.
The acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968 had been a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper at the time of the original disappearance, and covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch’s sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.
“One of our best writers of muscular nonfiction.” —The Denver Post
“Deeply unsettling . . . Bowden displays his tenacity as a reporter in his meticulous documentation of the case. But in the story of an unimaginably horrific crime, it’s the detectives’ unwavering determination to bring Welch to justice that offers a glimmer of hope on a long, dark journey.” —Time
A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in History
Winner of the 2018 Marine Corps Heritage Foundation Greene Award for a distinguished work of nonfiction
"An extraordinary feat of journalism . . . full of emotion and color."—Karl Marlantes, Wall Street Journal
The first battle book from Mark Bowden since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down, Hue 1968 is the story of the centerpiece of the Tet Offensive and a turning point in the American War in Vietnam.
In the early hours of January 31, 1968, the North Vietnamese launched over one hundred attacks across South Vietnam in what would become known as the Tet Offensive. The lynchpin of Tet was the capture of Hue, Vietnam?s intellectual and cultural capital, by 10,000 National Liberation Front troops who descended from hidden camps and surged across the city of 140,000. Within hours the entire city was in their hands save for two small military outposts. American commanders refused to believe the size and scope of the Front?s presence, ordering small companies of marines against thousands of entrenched enemy troops. After several futile and deadly days, Lieutenant Colonel Ernie Cheatham would finally come up with a strategy to retake the city, block by block and building by building, in some of the most intense urban combat since World War II.
With unprecedented access to war archives in the U.S. and Vietnam and interviews with participants from both sides, Bowden narrates each stage of this crucial battle through multiple viewpoints. Played out over 24 days and ultimately costing 10,000 lives, the Battle of Hue was by far the bloodiest of the entire war. When it ended, the American debate was never again about winning, only about how to leave. Hue 1968 is a gripping and moving account of this pivotal moment.
From the author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968, this is a gripping account of the hunt for Osama bin Laden. With access to key sources, Mark 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.
“In-depth interviews with Obama and other insiders reveal a White House on edge, facing top-secret options, white-knuckle decisions, and unforeseen obstacles . . . Bowden weaves together accounts from Obama and top decision-makers for the full story behind the daring operation.” —Vanity Fair
“The most accessible and satisfying book yet written on the climactic event in the United States’ long war against al Qaeda.” —San Francisco Chronicle
The #1 New York Times bestselling “master of narrative journalism” and author of Black Hawk Down presents a compelling collection of true crime stories (New York Times).
Acclaimed investigative reporter Mark Bowden has ferreted out unbelievable-yet-true stories of wrongdoing, murder and mayhem for decades. His illustrious body of work has won him a lifetime achievement award from the International Thriller Writers organization, and a reputation as “a Woodward that outdoes even Woodward” (Malcom Gladwell, New Yorker).
The Case of the Vanishing Blonde collects six of Bowden’s most riveting stories—accounts spanning four decades of fascinating characters and unsettling tales to illustrate all manner of crimes and the ways technology has progressively altered criminal investigation.From a 1983 story of a University of Pennsylvania campus rape that sparked a national debate over the nature of consent, to three cold cases featuring the inimitable Long Island private detective Ken Brennan and a startling investigation into a murderer deep within the LAPD’s ranks—shielded for twenty six years by officers keen to protect one of their own—these stories are the work of a masterful narrative journalist.
On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students, inspired by the revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They took fifty-two Americans captive, and kept nearly all of them hostage for 444 days. In Guests of the Ayatollah, Mark Bowden tells this sweeping story through the eyes of the hostages, the soldiers in a new special forces unit sent to free them, their radical, naïve captors, and the diplomats working to end the crisis.
Bowden takes us inside the hostages’ cells and inside the Oval Office for meetings with President Carter and his exhausted team. We travel to international capitals where shadowy figures held clandestine negotiations, and to the deserts of Iran, where a courageous, desperate attempt to rescue the hostages exploded into tragic failure. Bowden dedicated five years to this research, including numerous trips to Iran and countless interviews with those involved on both sides. Guests of the Ayatollah is a detailed, brilliantly recreated, and suspenseful account of a crisis that gripped and ultimately changed the world.
“The passions of the moment still reverberate . . . you can feel them on every page.” —Time
“A complex story full of cruelty, heroism, foolishness and tragic misunderstandings.” —Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Essential reading . . . A.” —Entertainment Weekly
By the early 1980s, Larry Lavin had everything going for him. He was a bright, charismatic young man who rose from working-class roots to become a dentist with an Ivy League education and a thriving practice, and a beloved father with a well-respected family in one of Philadelphia’s most exclusive suburbs.
But behind the façade of his success was a dark secret: Lavin was also the mastermind behind a cocaine empire that spread from Miami to Boston to New Mexico, catering to lawyers, stockbrokers, and other professionals, and generating an annual income of $60 million for the good doctor.
Now, Mark Bowden, a “master of narrative journalism” (The New York Times Book Review) tells the harrowing saga of Lavin’s rise and fall in “a shocking American tragedy . . . [that] shoots straight from the hip” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette).
“An engrossing crime story and a compelling morality tale.” —The Arizona Republic
“Has all the elements of a chilling suspense thriller . . . A smoothly crafted, exciting, can’t-put-it-down book.” —The New Voice (Louisville)
Yankee Stadium, December 28, 1958. What was about to go down on this Sunday evening in front of sixty-four thousand fans and forty-five million home viewers—the largest viewership ever assembled for a live televised event—was the first sudden death overtime in NFL history. This one battle between the league’s best offense, the Baltimore Colts, and the best defense, the New York Giants, would propel professional football from a moderately popular pastime into America’s favorite sport.
On the field and roaming the sidelines were seventeen future Hall of Famers, including Colts stars Johnny Unitas, Raymond Berry, and Gino Marchetti; and Giants greats Frank Gifford, Sam Huff; and assistant coaches Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry. But they were opposing teams in more ways than one. It was a contest between Baltimore blue-collars, many of whom worked off-season taking shifts at Bethlehem Steel, and the trendy, New York glamour boys of splashy magazine ads and TV commercials who mingled with politicians, Broadway stars, and even Ernest Hemingway.
Mark Bowden “dives into the trenches of the 1958 NFL Championship game” for a riveting play-by-play account, the stories behind the key players, the effect it had on the league, the sport, and the country (Entertainment Weekly).
“Bring[s] the contest so alive that you find yourself almost wondering . . . years later, how it will turn out in the end.” —The New York Times
“The Best Game Ever is sure to become an instant Sacred Text.” —Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post
Mark Bowden has established himself as one of America’s leading journalists and nonfiction writers. The Three Battles of Wanat collects the best of his long-form articles, including pieces from the Atlantic, Vanity Fair, the New Yorker, and the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The titular article delves into one of the bloodiest days of the War in Afghanistan and the years-long fallout it generated within the United States military. In “The Killing Machines,” Bowden examines the strategic, legal, and moral issues surrounding armed drones. And in a brilliant piece on Kim Jong-un called “The Bright Sun of Juche,” he recalibrates our understanding of the world’s youngest and most baffling dictator.
Also included are profiles of newspaper scion Arthur Sulzberger; renowned defense attorney and anti-death-penalty activist Judy Clarke; professional gambler Don Johnson, who won six million dollars in a single night playing blackjack; and David Simon, the creator of the legendary HBO series The Wire.
“Mark Bowden marshals his finest for The Three Battles of Wanat.” —Vanity Fair
In 1992, the Philadelphia Eagles—a team assembled in the image of their iconoclastic, controversial former head coach, Buddy Ryan—were known for their ferocious defense led by Reggie White, Seth Joyner, and Andre Waters, and for the otherworldly talents of quarterback Randall Cunningham.
Now was the time for the Eagles’ campaign for the championship. But as the season progressed, it disintegrated into an ugly flurry of greed, racism, violence, personal and professional feuds, one tragic death, and a very wild face-off in the stands between a player’s wife and mistress. By midseason, the sentiment of both fans and press was the same: “shut up and play.”
Told through the personal stories of the teammates themselves, as well as the coaches, managers and owner, Bringing the Heat spares nothing—and no one—in “a phenomenal feat of reportage, perfect for football fans coast to coast” (H. G. Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights).
“Overflows with stories of pro football dreams, of bravery in the face of injury. Yet it also unflinchingly tells of the darker side of life in the NFL: uncontrollable egos, ruined families, marital infidelity.” —The New York Times Book Review
“There are now four mandatory books on football: Dan Jenkins’s Semi-Tough; George Plimpton’s Paper Lion; H. G. Bissinger’s Friday Night Lights, and the hilarious, incorrigible son of them all, Mark Bowden’s Bringing the Heat.” —Michael Bamberger, Sports Illustrated