The Finish by Mark Bowden
The Killing of Osama Bin Laden

70%

10 Critic Reviews

Every one knows how it ended but Bowden masterfully applies the investigative and storytelling skills for which he is renowned to make readers feel the weight on Obama’s shoulders, and the admirable way he worked through it all.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

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.
 

About Mark Bowden

See more books from this 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.
 
Published October 16, 2012 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 289 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Nov 04 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for The Finish
All: 10 | Positive: 7 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Excellent
on Dec 04 2012

A superb storyteller, Bowden captures the tense drama accompanying the final months of the bin Laden hunt, even as he underscores the quiet, essential work of years.

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NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by TARA McKELVEY on Oct 19 2012

If Bowden had examined both the strengths and weaknesses of the White House counterterrorism efforts, rather than relying so heavily on the participants’ own positive stories, his book would have been more than...a compilation of “Geronimo” moments.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Peter Beaumont on Nov 10 2012

Above all, Bowden provides a compelling insight into Obama's considerations in ordering such missions.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Jason Burke on Nov 02 2012

How the Americans finally got their man is an extraordinary tale and Bowden does it justice.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Mark Bowden on Oct 12 2012

The last sequence of colour photos in the death album were not grotesque. They were strangely moving.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Oct 22 2012

Readers expecting a detailed, dramatic account of the raid on the Abbottabad compound will be disappointed.

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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by James Hornfischer on Oct 12 2012

...for all Mr. Bowden's access to White house deliberations, he is unable to weave the type of action narrative that made "Black Hawk Down" such a thriller, or even create a good Washington-based espionage yarn.

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National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Stewart Bell on Dec 07 2012

Every one knows how it ended but Bowden masterfully applies the investigative and storytelling skills for which he is renowned to make readers feel the weight on Obama’s shoulders, and the admirable way he worked through it all.

Read Full Review of The Finish: The Killing of Os... | See more reviews from National Post arts

The Seattle Times

Good
Reviewed by Ken Armstrong on Nov 09 2012

That Obama was willing to take that risk — especially given the uncertainty of whether it was really bin Laden in that Abbottabad compound — makes for compelling drama, and Bowden has captured it with skill and style.

Read Full Review of The Finish: The Killing of Os...

National Post arts

Good
Reviewed by Stewart Bell on Dec 07 2012

Every one knows how it ended but Bowden masterfully applies the investigative and storytelling skills for which he is renowned to make readers feel the weight on Obama’s shoulders, and the admirable way he worked through it all.

Read Full Review of The Finish: The Killing of Os... | See more reviews from National Post arts

Reader Rating for The Finish
68%

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