Black Hawk Down

Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden, 5/5

I think this is a masterpiece of war journalism for several reasons.  Firstly, Bowden treats his sources with respect and courtesy instead of manipulating and abusing them for the sake of furthering his own career.  This is not as common an attitude as I would wish and expect.  Secondly, it is clear that the accuracy of his portrayal is Bowden’s main concern.  He wastes no time searching for a sensational “angle” and doesn’t create unnecessary drama.  Thirdly, Bowden clearly recognizes the limits of his own expertise, refraining from sweeping allegations and extrapolations with regard to political and military strategy.  He is intelligent enough to avoid turning an admittedly controversial story into a personal soapbox.  Fourthly, the book is scrupulously well cited, with an annotated bibliography and detailed information provided on the sources.

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