“[Bowden] excels at sharply drawn, painstakingly reported stories about losers, oddballs and con men. . . . Fashioning prose that reads like good fiction, with the bonus that his stories are true . . . Like [Stephen] Crane before him, Bowden is that rare reporter whose writing works as well on a small canvas as it does on the big screen.”
Robert S. Boynton, New York Times Book Review
Among Tyrants, Heroes, Rogues, and Beasts
978-0-8021-2510-1 • $18.00 • Paperback • Apr. 2016
Over two decades, Mark Bowden, author of the #1 New York Times best seller Black Hawk Down and the critically acclaimed Killing Pablo, has solidified his reputation as a “master of narrative journalism” (The New York Times Book Review). An incisive reporter and gripping, evocative writer, Bowden is capable of putting us in the heat of a story in a way few others can. Now Road Work offers the best of Bowden’s award-winning nonfiction, from his breakout stories for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he was a reporter for twenty-four years, to his highly talked-about pieces in The Atlantic on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Whether traveling to a small town in Rhode Island where one of the largest cocaine rings in history is uncovered, or to the Luangwa Valley in Zambia where a bold team of antipoachers fights to save the fate of the black rhino, Mark Bowden takes us down rough roads previously off-limits. “The Dark Art of Interrogation” exposes the top-secret world of Guantanamo Bay, offering an insider’s view of the controversial, often shocking ways America is fighting its war on terror. “Tales of a Tyrant” takes us into the world of Saddam Hussein, shedding new and dramatic light on his life, his reign of terror, and his days on the run. “The Kabul-Ki Dance” brings us the high-adrenaline world of the 391st Fighter Squadron of Idaho as it wages the air war over Afghanistan and shows what happens when raw emotion goes up against the clinical precision of modern war.
Whether they are everyday people, mad scientists, or celebrities such as Al Sharpton and Norman Mailer, Road Work invites us into the private and public lives of unique, fascinating Americans. “The Game of a Lifetime” and “The Great Potato Pick-Off Play,” in which a struggling minor leaguer dreams up a bizarre and hilarious on-field prank, display the uniquely humanistic brand of sports reporting that won acclaim for Bowden’s seminal football book Bringing the Heat. And “Cops on the Take” gives us the intelligent and riveting true-crime writing that the Tucson Citizen has described as “true reporting at its very best,” tellingin trademark novelistic detailthe incredible story of a group of high-ranking officers who turned the police department of a major city into a profit-making criminal enterprise.
Powerfully gripping, elucidating, sometimes even wryly humorous, Road Work shows why Mark Bowden has won a reputation as a nonfiction writer of the very highest caliber.