From the author of the New York Times best-selling Holy War, Inc., this is the definitive account of the decade-long manhunt for the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden.
Al Qaeda expert and CNN national security analyst Peter Bergen paints a multidimensional picture of the hunt for bin Laden over the past decade, including the operation that killed him. Other key elements of the book include:
Just as Too Big to Fail captured, in riveting detail, the anatomy of this decade’s financial disaster, so too is Manhunt one of the key stories of this decade: the authoritative, immersive account of the operation that killed the man who organized the largest mass murder in American history.
©2012 Peter L. Bergen (P)2012 Random House
"In Manhunt, Peter Bergen has produced a page-turner rich with new information and insight into the search for Bin Laden and his killing. Only Bergen, America's foremost counterterrorism writer, could have produced a book of such energy and authority - a triumph." (Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001)
"Ten years of grit, intelligent hard work, and daring led to Operation Neptune Spear, and Bergen captures it all in a story that is both a riveting page turner and a definitive history. Revealing details of bin Laden's last years in self-imposed prison, the debates of the CIA analysts who tracked him, and the training of the SEALs who killed him, Manhunt is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the real story of how the world's most wanted terrorist was finally brought to justice." (Eric Greitens, author of The Heart and The Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL)
"With masterly reporting, Peter Bergen takes us where we've never been: behind the high walls of Osama bin Laden's last hideout and behind the scenes of the heroic and painstaking hunt for the Al Qaeda mastermind. Manhunt is a thrilling read." (Anderson Cooper, CNN anchor)
Elderly (1932), retired university professor, degrees in engineering and economics.
Do not miss this one! I followed George W. Bush’s war on terror and the new policies of Barack Obama through news reports and through many of the books published over the years. The books ranged from excellent to slanted political rants. Peter Bergen’s thoughtful, well written and well sourced book is one of the best. It is outstanding!
He takes the listener along from the beginning to end of Operation Neptune Spear after ten long years of searching for clues as to the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden. Familiar names of politicians and political appointees turn up in new roles and positions to make decisions about whether new information is accurate enough to risk deadly action. How much risk, diplomatically, internationally, and politically are we willing to take to remove the head of the organization that inflicted 9/11 us.
I gained a greater understanding of and sympathy for people in the planning process at the highest level of government when decisions have life and death consequences. As the planning progressed and what seemed like an infinite number of “what if” scenarios were raised and analyzed trying to reduce the odds of failure one more point, I found myself wanting to scream “Just do it. You cannot get to zero risk when people are involved.” Maybe if the people are Navy SEALS there is a better chance to reach zero risk than we know. There is suspense. There is action. There are scenes in the White House and in Bin Laden’s bedroom. I am neither in the military nor in politics, but I can highly recommend “MANHUNT.” The narration and the writing are excellent.
It is a great listen.
Bergen's detail account loses no momentum from beginning to end. Researched, documented and well written, the docudrama pulls the "reader" forward toward a very satisfyingly suspenseful conclusion. Mark Deakins narration adds zest and pace and his voice impressions are mostly in character.
All in all, a very worthwhile investment of time and money/
Liked the narration very much EXCEPT for the accents Deakins tried to adopt when quoting someone, they are comical, sometimes painful to listen to.
This is great storytelling, with just the right amount of detail and well told. I hadn't really realized how interesting each part of it would be, peeking behind the scenes at every stage of the process. I found the coverage balanced, not favouring any particular outlook or presidency. It IS a great success of the Obama presidency and, even though I don't support him overall, we all can celebrate successes by any president, hopefully. After all, we're all Americans! (I'm actually Canadian, but you know what I mean).
Women especially, haven't you wondered how his wives fit into all of this, what kind of people they were, how they lived? In this book, you find out.
In the epilogue of the book, he relates the other threats of militant Islam besides Al Qaida, which by this point in time, after he wrote the book, have proved to be very troubling indeed. Bergen doesn't see the whole movement as a threat overall to the West, comparable to Communism or Nazism, and I hope he's right. Time only will tell. I think it's better to take it seriously though and I think the real story is NOT that Bush screwed up in Iraq and Afghanistan, but that there aren't easy answers to this threat and no president would likely have been able to 'fix' it. I think it should be clear it's a long struggle, dating perhaps from 1979, and obviously still with us.
But this book is a riveting account of every stage of this particular mission and for anyone even slightly interested, a very enjoyable book!
I'm just a big kid.
This is an important book. Mr. Bergen had extensive access to very senior level people in writing 'Manhunt', including Presidents Clinton, Bush, and especially President Obama.
Many senior cabinet officers and senior military and intelligence leaders are quoted. I believe this book to be about as authentic account of the hunt for OBL as any civilian could write.
On the downside, I had one quibble and one serious problem with 'Manhunt':
Quibble: The author, as one would expect of a NYT reporter, worships at the church of Obama. Everything Obama is portrayed in the most positive possible light. Long boring paragraphs are devoted to praising our President. Given the recent terrorism directed against our diplomats in the middle east, Bergen's glowing tributes to Obama's diplomatic skills seems very outdated.
To be fair to Bergen, while his tone towards President Bush is fairly negative, Bergen does explain why so many senior officials (including Senators Clinton and Kerry) believed that Iraq had WMD's prior to the invasion of that country. This was important information that Bergen puts on the record.
Substantial problem: There is way too much detailed information about classified intelligent sources and methods reveled in this book. I can't blame Mr. Bergen, he's reporting what creditable senior people told him, but I do blame glory seeking politicians for putting their short term political ambitions ahead of the long term good of the country.
'Manhunt' is an excellent companion to 'No Easy Day' by Mark Owen. Mr. Bergen takes you into the high level decision making process that lead up to the raid.
Mr. Owen's book is written from the point of view of the grunt on the ground.
Together one gains an excellent appreciation of the skill required to pull off an operation like 'Neptune Spear'.
Net/net 'Manhunt' should leave any reader impressed with how effective our governmental leadership can be when they really work together on a difficult problem.
Mr. Deakins does an excellent job with this narration. The production quality of this audio book is excellent.
I had to give Mr. Deakins only four stars, because (like so many American narrators) he can't really 'do' foreign accents, he sounds silly when he tries.
I buy many of my books because of the reviews and this is why I bought Manhunt. The reviews were very good so my expectations were very high. I enjoyed the book but was actually disappointed a little. It was interesting but did not live up to the five star reviews.
I would actually give it a 3.5 to 3.7 as it is better than average but certainly not a 5 star book.
Yes because there is lots of information that needs to be absorbed and because it is a story about a significant subject that has consequences now and in our country''s and the world's future.
The detail about the planning that went into the raid and killing of Bin Laden
I had no favorite character -- the story itself was fabulously interesting.
No - I liked prolonging the read so that I could absorb the content - I will probably will reread it. Next time I made actually read it and not listen to it.
I loved this book and I loved the detail with which the story unfolded. One criticism I did not like the reader imitating women's voices and the dialect of people who were Muslim or Arabic. That felt condescending.. I would have preferd the reader just using his own voice without changes in his voice.
I thought this book might get slow or or be slanted one way or the other.
It's just the facts. It really gets into how the terrorists work and how the CIA works.
Just how the structure of both the terrorists and the CIA are so different than anything you read in fiction.
How risky the hit on Bin Ladin's compound was. There were a number of other outcomes from that situation that could have spun US foreign relations in vastly different directions.
I'm not much for politics but this was a quick read and a great look in at how decisions, for good or bad, are really made with regard to foreign policy, as well as the role the president played in everything.
I liked the book and will probably listen to it again sometime because there are a lot of details in the book. I did enjoy the book, but the author is not totally objective. I like the insights into how difficult the decision was for President Obama. .
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Manhunt is one of those rare books that is packed with details but remains really exciting. I literally could not put this one down and finished it in one sitting. I got a lot more from this book than I had from news sources and other books and it was enjoyable to boot. The narration is excellent. It is not entirely unbiased, but is generally quite fair. Manhunt explores each aspect of the search for bin Ladin, intelligence, military, political, and counter-measures al-Qae???da took. It answered virtually all my outstanding questions about the final raid and give an excellent overall perspective.
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