Manhunt by Peter L. Bergen


By Peter L. Bergen

  • Release Date: 2012-05-01
  • Genre: United States
Score: 4
From 326 Ratings
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The gripping account of the decade-long hunt for the world's most wanted man.

It was only a week before 9/11 that Peter Bergen turned in the manuscript of Holy War, Inc., the story of Osama bin Laden--whom Bergen had once interviewed in a mud hut in Afghanistan--and his declaration of war on America. The book became a New York Times bestseller and the essential portrait of the most formidable terrorist enterprise of our time. Now, in Manhunt, Bergen picks up the thread with this taut yet panoramic account of the pursuit and killing of bin Laden.

Here are riveting new details of bin Laden’s flight after the crushing defeat of the Taliban to Tora Bora, where American forces came startlingly close to capturing him, and of the fugitive leader’s attempts to find a secure hiding place. As the only journalist to gain access to bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound before the Pakistani government demolished it, Bergen paints a vivid picture of bin Laden’s grim, Spartan life in hiding and his struggle to maintain control of al-Qaeda even as American drones systematically picked off his key lieutenants.

Half a world away, CIA analysts haunted by the intelligence failures that led to 9/11 and the WMD fiasco pored over the tiniest of clues before homing in on the man they called "the Kuwaiti"--who led them to a peculiar building with twelve-foot-high walls and security cameras less than a mile from a Pakistani military academy. This was the courier who would unwittingly steer them to bin Laden, now a prisoner of his own making but still plotting to devastate the United States.

Bergen takes us inside the Situation Room, where President Obama considers the COAs (courses of action) presented by his war council and receives conflicting advice from his top advisors before deciding to risk the raid that would change history--and then inside the Joint Special Operations Command, whose "secret warriors," the SEALs, would execute Operation Neptune Spear. From the moment two Black Hawks take off from Afghanistan until bin Laden utters his last words, Manhunt reads like a thriller.

Based on exhaustive research and unprecedented access to White House officials, CIA analysts, Pakistani intelligence, and the military, this is the definitive account of ten years in pursuit of bin Laden and of the twilight of al-Qaeda.


  • Disappointed

    By Nickp16
    The book is very repetitive at times and also lacks a clear cut structure. One chapter you're reading about something that happened in 2007 and in the next you're back to 2003. It could have been organized much better. It is also noticeably biased- if you are looking for a straightforward, nothing but the facts book, this is not it. Bergen clearly has taken sides in his account on this matter (unfortunate, but expected for a journalist). Chapter 5 defects still have not been fixed, as noted by other reviews. Overall disappointed with this purchase.
  • For hunting one man ?

    By Ahmed al-hoti
    For hunting one man usa cost financial crises effect 300 million american and america loses their power in 2 wars that last for 20 years I think this is not sensible.
  • Poor collections of newspaper articles.

    By LEE 2011
    Considering Peter Bergen being a journalist, this is a poorly written book. it is a collection of newspaper clips and weak conversations. You don't learn anything new from the book.
  • Man Hunt

    By M Monahan
    A political hack job and a re-write of history. Bergen ostensibly works for Obama's never-ending propaganda machine. The book ignores the conclusions of the 911 Commission, twists facts in an anti-Bush light whenever possible and grossly, if not unjustifiably lauds Obama for the result achieved through a decade of effort. Insufferable.
  • A+

    By ChunkyLover042
    on point
  • Must read for political and historical buffs

    Creates such a nice Timeline of what was going on with Bin Laden for those ten years. Also like how the author approaches it from different perspectives: CIA, WH, Bin Laden and his family/friends. Sheds some light on what was hidden in complete darkness for 10 years. I couldn't put the book down!
  • Couldn't put it down

    By dblair11
    Bergen pulls back the curtain and gives a great look into the often opaque intelligence gathering and decision making process for the premier event in the effort to stamp out al Qaeda. Great read
  • Good read

    By As if it needed another rating
    Good read, one glitch and a few redundancies. Very good info and insight to the world of UBL
  • Good for those that love details

    By CapnSuperstar
    A (sometimes very repetitive / circular) discussion of the hunt for Bin Laden in the years after 9/11. Could have probably been half as long and shared most of the key and interesting details. Very much felt rushed and like a rehash of some prior work...but where else will you learn what went on in Bin Laden's bunker?!?
  • Gripping, scholarly, informative

    By NASA Brother
    Bergen's account of the final chapter of the OBL tale is well worth the read. Many lessons here from military to political, to social. Academic yet intriguing. The detail of how President Obama ultimately decided to launch the raid is a classic case study in decision making - ranking up there with Kennedy's Cuban missile crisis stand- off with Soviets ( though consequences orders of magnitude different). Sorry for the cliche but I can't wait for the movie version of this. Should be collaboration by best producers and directors with profits going to 9/11 victims. Great work Peter!