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Synopsis


From the #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down to the critically acclaimed Killing Pablo, Mark Bowden has been praised for his unique, novelistic ability to put his reader in the heat of the story. His acclaimed works of investigative journalism have been published around the world to tremendous success and have sold over 3 million copies. Road Work collects Bowden’s award-winning non-fiction, from his breakout stories for the Philadelphia Inquirer to his most recent high-profile pieces in Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and The Atlantic.

Road Work takes us everywhere from a small town in Rhode Island where one of the largest cocaine rings in history is uncovered, to the Luangwa Valley in Zambia where a bold team of anti-poachers fights to save the fate of the black rhinoceros. “The Kabul-Ki Dance" invites us into the high-adrenaline world of the 391st Fighter Squadron of Idaho as it wages the air war over Afghanistan, and shows us what happens when raw emotion comes up against the clinical precision of modern war. Bowden’s high-profile look at Saddam Hussein, nominated for a National Magazine Award, shed such new and dramatic light on one of the world’s most notorious figures that it has been optioned for film. And his shocking expose on the dark art of interrogation, also nominated for a National Magazine Award, offers an insider's eye into the unique and controversial ways in which we are fighting the war on terrorism.

Road Work offers fascinating glimpses into the closely guarded lives of public figures such as Al Sharpton, Norman Mailer, and Mike Schmidt, and also features the uniquely humanistic brand of sports reporting that won acclaim for Bringing the Heat. Powerfully gripping, elucidating, sometimes even wryly humorous, Road Work shows why Mark Bowden has won a reputation as a domestic and foreign reporter of the highest caliber, earning The New York Times Book Review’s praise as “a master of narrative journalism.”




Tales of the Tyrant -- An intimate and compelling account of the daily life of Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein and how he wields and retains power is offered. He sleeps only four or five hours a night, keeps his desk immaculate, and tests all his food for poison.Bowden reveals that Hussein was a novelist of romantic potboilers.

The Art of Interrogation - Bowden discusses effective ways of interrogation in order to gather intelligence and thwart terrorism. Among these, are the torture lite method, acid tests method, monkey orgasms, and alligator clips. Torture lite includes sleep deprivation, exposure to heat or cold, the use of drugs to cause confusion, rough treatment, and forcing a prisoner to stand for days at a time or to sit in uncomfortable positions... Bowden also explores facts and rumors-- and the complicated legal issues-- surrounding the controversial terrorist holding facility in Guantanamo Bay


Kabulki Dance - A look inside the cockpit with the pilots and weapons-systems officers of the 391st Fighter Squadron. These men are the top guns of the US air war in Afghanistan. Bowden explores the emotional human's place in an impersonal, technologized war environment.

Al Sharpton profile - a fascinating portrait of this controversial figure published in the Atlantic

Salon Republican National Convention 2000 -- "Republicans have zeroed in on the one thing the Democrats cannot defend: Clinton's slick willy." Bowden reportes from the highly orchestrated Republican convention, in which the Republicans aim to down-play their "devisive social priorities" and portray George W. Bush as the kinder, gentler candidate.

The Game of a Lifetime - A portrait of the "Turkey Game"-- the nearly century-old Thanksgiving-day high school football rivalry between the Kirkwood Pioneers and the Webster Groves Statesman of the St. Louis suburbs. This year's game will be exceptional because, with the varsity teams unavailable because of playoffs, the inexperienced but eager junior varsity teams will be put on the spot.

A Beautiful Mind - Portrait of the surprising skill and mental brilliance needed to be a center, the man who snaps to the quarterback on the Philadelphia Eagles


The Unkindest Cut

Schmidt's Misfortune - Portrait of Philadelphia Philly half of famer Mike Schmidt, who is determined to have his best season ever when it is cut short by a devastating injury during an at-bat.

The Great Potato Pick-Off Play - hilarious story about a prankster minor league ball player who is kicked off the team after substituting a potato for a baseball in an attempt to trick a baserunner into an out.

Rhino - Portrait of 20 men who have had the dangerous, impossible task for two years of patroling for poachers in the Luangwa Valley of Zambia. They hope to save the 4,000 black rhinos that remain there, but their World Wildlife Fund money is running out.

The Urban Gorilla - Masala, at 51-years-old the oldest gorilla in the world, is being given a new, more spaaaaaacious and natural home in the expanded Philadelphia Zoo. Bowden explores new attitudes and practices in animal captivity.

Breeding the Better Cow - A Fast Food Nation-type expose on the new ways farmers are using revolutionary breeding devices such as artificial insemination, super-ovulation, and embryo transfer to make cows into little more than gigantic lactating machines. A profile of Osborndale Ivanhoe, the sire of over half of the 700,000 Holsteins in Pennsylvania

Battling the Baddies in Fantasyland - "The 14 children from St. Christopher's were off to Disney World because a wealthy young woman had decided to liquidate her family's 40-year-old charitable foundation and set aside $10,000 to send them on a three-day wish trip. I went along to see how they cope with it all: the grim battle with medical odds, the frustration of being unable to protect their babies, of having to rely on doctors who aren't sure how to proceed, the dreary regimen of hospital and home, hospital and home. But these were not families burdened with grief. These were families living intensely, each day, every day, every hour."

Fight to the Finish- a remarkable story of a physician who committed suicide after struggling for years with manic depression. Bowden investigates the mystery of mental depression and the difficulties of living with a victim

Fight with Fame - Portrait of Norman Mailer after publication of Tough Guys Don't Dance -- one of the first writers to be struggling with fame in the modern world

The Fight Rocky Lost - the Philadelphia Art Museum battles Sylvester Stallone to have a statue of him as Rocky removed from its steps

Mayberry Vice - an article for Rolling Stone about an unusual drug bust in Central Falls, R.I.
Cops on the Take - Bowden's first major effort in narrative journalism, a four-part Inquirer Magazine magazine series, won a National Magazine Award.


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