No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden

4.3 945
by Mark Owen
     
 

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For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin

Overview

For the first time anywhere, the first-person account of the planning and execution of the Bin Laden raid from a Navy Seal who confronted the terrorist mastermind and witnessed his final moment

From the streets of Iraq to the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean, and from the mountaintops of Afghanistan to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden’s compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group — commonly known as SEAL Team Six — has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines.

No Easy Day
puts readers alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the twenty-four-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives. The blow-by-blow narrative of the assault, beginning with the helicopter crash that could have ended Owen’s life straight through to the radio call confirming Bin Laden’s death, is an essential piece of modern history.

In No Easy Day, Owen also takes readers onto the field of battle in America’s ongoing War on Terror and details the selection and training process for one of the most elite units in the military. Owen’s story draws on his youth in Alaska and describes the SEALs’ quest to challenge themselves at the highest levels of physical and mental endurance. With boots-on-the-ground detail, Owen describes numerous previously unreported missions that illustrate the life and work of a SEAL and the evolution of the team after the events of September 11. In telling the true story of the SEALs whose talents, skills, experiences, and exceptional sacrifices led to one of the greatest victories in the War on Terror, Mark Owen honors the men who risk everything for our country, and he leaves readers with a deep understanding of the warriors who keep America safe.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review
Even though we know the basics of the story, Bissonnette takes us on a great ride. This is a book of details. And though many of the specifics are left out—like the identities of Bissonnette and his comrades—there are enough here to bring the mission to life. No Easy Day amounts to a cinematic account of the raid to kill Bin Laden: you feel as if you're sitting in the Black Hawk as it swoops in, peering through the greenish haze of night-vision goggles, wending up the stairs to Bin Laden's lair.
—Dexter Filkins
Publishers Weekly
The arch-terrorist's death was "just another job," according to this gung-ho memoir by a member of the U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six that dispatched him. The pseudonymous Owen's (revealed by Fox News to be Matt Bissonnette) story is “generalized" and scrubbed of “classified information" but authentic enough to provoke Pentagon legal threats and convey a compelling realism. His meticulous narrative of the raid adds new wrinkles to the conventional account—he insists that Bin Laden did not try to fight or hide behind his wives before he was shot, unarmed, while peeking through a doorway (Owen sneers at his unpreparedness)—along with atmospheric details, from the terror of an initial helicopter crash to his cleaning of blood from Bin Laden's face for identifying photos. The raid caps Owen's well-observed memoir of training ordeals, awesome gear, bonding and banter, and special ops in Iraq and Afghanistan; co-author Maurer shapes these missions into tense scenes of strategizing, stealth and action. This is not a reflective book; the righteousness of post-9/11 military adventures is self-evident to Owen, and he worries only about measuring up to the SEAL standard of lethal teamwork. Still, it paints an absorbing portrait of the work-a-day soldierly professionalism that proved Bin Laden's nemesis. Photos. (Sept. 4)
From the Publisher
"This harrowing, minute-by-minute account by one of the highly trained members of Navy SEAL Team Six is narrative nonfiction at its most gripping, taking the reader through the mountains of Afghanistan and inside the slightly dilapidated-looking family compound in Pakistan." - Entertainment Weekly

“The bin Laden story is the marquee event in No Easy Day, of course. But the formative steps in the author’s own story are just as gripping. Mr. Owen’s new information about the Abbottobad attacks adds a human element to much of what has been previously reported. There is no better illustration in No Easy Day that SEALs are ruthless pragmatists. They think fast. They adapt to whatever faces them. They do what they have to do.” –Janet Maslin, New York Times

“The book is a stomach-twisting close-up look at that historic mission in Abbottabad, told from the point of view of a super-elite member of SEAL Team Six who fired a bullet into bin Laden and helped carry away the corpse. Written in clean, polished prose... No Easy Day often reads like a gripping novel as the author recounts remarkably vivid details... No Easy Day puts you right there for every tense moment.” –Entertainment Weekly

" ...A cast of characters, including Owen himself, artfully drawn, yet painfully human, passionate descriptions of a lifestyle that few are privy to, as well as its breathlessly paced, inexorable march toward an inevitable ending…it's a remarkably intimate glimpse into what motivates men striving to join an elite fighting force like the SEALS — and what keeps them there.” -Associated Press

Make no mistake: No Easy Day is an important historic document. Think if we had a first-person account of the last minutes of Hitler in his bunker. No Easy Day is brisk and compelling in its telling of the training, execution and immediate aftermath of the Bin Laden mission by the elite Seal Team Six.” -Los Angeles Times
 

“[Mark Owen] has given us a brave retelling of one of the most important events in U.S. military history.”  -People Magazine
 

“The writing is fast-paced, and Owen and Maurer tell some good yarns in a conversational style. They also neatly capture the camaraderie, the pranks, the constant training and the evident love that the men of SEAL Team 6 have for their jobs." -Washington Post

Library Journal
★ 01/01/2016
A gripping account of one of the highest-profile missions executed in modern warfare. The Navy SEAL is an international symbol of military excellence, and the story of this mission and their training is essential to understanding contemporary combat.
Kirkus Reviews
Books on Navy SEALs have poured off the presses for years, but this one has generated national interest and controversy for a reason the title makes clear. Sensibly, the author (a pseudonym of ex-SEAL Matt Bissonnette) works with military journalist Maurer (Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces, 2012, etc.), and the result is a fast-paced, professional narrative that will appeal to military buffs as well as general readers. Raised in rural Alaska, Owen yearned to be a SEAL from childhood. He succeeded in 1998, passing the brutal screening and training. After several deployments, he passed another screening to join the SEAL's specialized anti-terrorism unit in 2004. This is a mostly traditional SEAL memoir filled with nuts-and-bolts descriptions of weapons, gear, training, tactics and short, nasty battles in which (unlike the movies) plenty goes wrong, but (like the movies) many bad guys pay the price. The book's second half delivers a precisely detailed, vivid account of the Osama bin Laden mission. Luck, good and bad, plays an essential role in any raid. One attacking helicopter crashed, but the veteran team worked around the mishap. On the bright side, the Pakistani hideout was feebly defended. The author does not deny that the SEALs shot every male on sight, bin Laden included. Since bin Laden was a significant figure, historians will consult this book as a primary source; they, as well as most general readers, will not regret it.
The New York Times
The emphasis of…No Easy Day…is not on spilling secrets. It is on explaining a SEAL's rigorous mind-set and showing how that toughness is created. The bin Laden story is the marquee event in No Easy Day, of course. But the formative steps in the author's own story are just as gripping…Mr. Owen's new information about the Abbottabad attack adds a human element to much of what has been previously reported. Even reporting like Peter L. Bergen's in his meticulous book Manhunt does not have this new book's perspective. Mr. Bergen knew what the men had done, but this author knows what at least one of them was thinking.
—Janet Maslin

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525953722
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/04/2012
Pages:
336
Sales rank:
150,864
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"This harrowing, minute-by-minute account by one of the highly trained members of Navy SEAL Team Six is narrative nonfiction at its most gripping, taking the reader through the mountains of Afghanistan and inside the slightly dilapidated-looking family compound in Pakistan." - Entertainment Weekly

“The bin Laden story is the marquee event in No Easy Day, of course. But the formative steps in the author’s own story are just as gripping. Mr. Owen’s new information about the Abbottobad attacks adds a human element to much of what has been previously reported. There is no better illustration in No Easy Day that SEALs are ruthless pragmatists. They think fast. They adapt to whatever faces them. They do what they have to do.” –Janet Maslin, New York Times

“The book is a stomach-twisting close-up look at that historic mission in Abbottabad, told from the point of view of a super-elite member of SEAL Team Six who fired a bullet into bin Laden and helped carry away the corpse. Written in clean, polished prose... No Easy Day often reads like a gripping novel as the author recounts remarkably vivid details... No Easy Day puts you right there for every tense moment.” –Entertainment Weekly

" ...A cast of characters, including Owen himself, artfully drawn, yet painfully human, passionate descriptions of a lifestyle that few are privy to, as well as its breathlessly paced, inexorable march toward an inevitable ending…it's a remarkably intimate glimpse into what motivates men striving to join an elite fighting force like the SEALS — and what keeps them there.” -Associated Press

Make no mistake: No Easy Day is an important historic document. Think if we had a first-person account of the last minutes of Hitler in his bunker. No Easy Day is brisk and compelling in its telling of the training, execution and immediate aftermath of the Bin Laden mission by the elite Seal Team Six.” -Los Angeles Times
 
“[Mark Owen] has given us a brave retelling of one of the most important events in U.S. military history.”  -People Magazine
 
“The writing is fast-paced, and Owen and Maurer tell some good yarns in a conversational style. They also neatly capture the camaraderie, the pranks, the constant training and the evident love that the men of SEAL Team 6 have for their jobs." -Washington Post

Meet the Author

Mark Owen is a former member of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group, commonly known as SEAL Team Six. In his many years as a Navy SEAL, he has participated in hundreds of missions around the globe, including the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips in the Indian Ocean in 2009. Owen was a team leader on Operation Neptune Spear in Abbottabad, Pakistan, on May 1, 2011, which resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden. Owen was one of the first men through the door on the third floor of the terrorist mastermind's hideout, where he witnessed Bin Laden's death. Mark Owen's name and the names of the other SEALs mentioned in No Easy Day have been changed for their security.

Kevin Maurer has covered special operations forces for nine years. He has been embedded with the Special Forces in Afghanistan six times, spent a month in 2006 with special operations units in east Africa, and has embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq and Haiti. He is the author of four books, including several about special operations.

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No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 945 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read a lot of the reviews for this book and most of them are not actually reviews but just opinions on the author's motives. Just about every poor review that is on this site does not actually mention having read the book, but just bashes the author. I've read the book. He claims that no classified information was used. He claims only unclassified and already made public information was used. So all those reviews that criticize him for divulging information are clearly wrong and written by people who are reacting without all the facts. If he put classified information in that book, I'm sure he'll experience the full wrath of the Obama and Holder Department of Justice. I see no dishonor in this account. There are a lot of people who have retired from the military after having fought in battles overseas and have written their memoirs. There is nothing wrong with that. I'm tired of the military top brass and the president's administration using these events to propagandize; we do not get the truth from the government, no matter whose administration it is. Remember Jessica Lynch? We did not get the truth about her capture or rescue from the government. The best account is from guys like this one. This is a great book, well written and with lots of personal details that make this guy seem real and human. We tend to view Navy SEALS as superhuman superheroes and don't really give them credit for the real difficulty and physical sacrifice they make. Great job!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book today and read it in about 3 hours. Mark Owens speaks in a first person narrative and the reader can share with the excitement and terror of what happened in Abbottabad on May 1, 2011. I want to point out that with the NookBook, there are photos included at the end of the Epilogue.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Regardless if the author's possible legal problems as a result of writing this book, I found this to be a fast and exciting read. I read another book on the account of the Bin Laden mission, which was good...but, I found this version to be so much more engaging and personal. If you are a military buff and/or somebody interested in the events of this mission, you'll find this book worth the time. I enjoyed every aspect of it from recollections of training and application into 'Green Team' and through the personal accounts of his real world missions. Well written and well told!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just read this book. Great book! It satisfied my desire to know how this mission was accomplished. Very detailed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is now one of my favorites of all time. There are so many people saying negative things about this book and the author; Saying he had no right to write a book about one of his SEAL missions. However, I don't see why it is such a big deal that he wrote about this specific mission when the majority of the information about the Osama Bin Laden raid has already been released by The President and his people. No Easy Day is a must read in my opinion.
bbb57 More than 1 year ago
Remarkable This is just a page turning book. I have so much respect for these guys. It is good to know the "actual" events, which for the most part are exactly what has been reported on television and other media. I don't know what all the hype is about the book revealing anything classified. I do worry for the safety of the author, his family, and SEAL friends and their families. My only complaint is that it would have been perfect if not for the unnecessary "political jabs"at the President after having so eloquently stating that politics had nothing to do with the book. I loved it.
American1 More than 1 year ago
Phenominal and engaging story oof courage and devotion....amazing detail, and a great story that all Americans should be proud of ...I am thrilled that this man has the courage to share his story with us....BRAVO !
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I doubt ifnegative reviewers read the book and definitely don't speak for combat vets. I've done 3 tours in Afghan and politics (as the author indicates) is not a factor on the ground. Yet, politicians profit from our suffering. What national security breach do you think was made in the book...specifics please? Do you know what is CLASSIFIED? The motivation of ignorant haters is simple...blind defensiveness because the author isn't star struck BY Obama and told the truth. Although the author didn't praise Obama he was fair. Thecampaign is using this heroic act by theseals tothis day on campaign events! Have u heard Biden (UBL is dead and GM alive). The president wrote of audacity of hope. The audacity of the obama lemings to question the authors patriotism because he didn't get a chill up his leg or faint over this president or any other politician for ten years while he was putting hislife on the line for our country is sad. Talk after you have made even afraction of such sacrifices. Crawl out of the family basement or (as i saw at the occuppy olympia protest) stop sucking cheese whiz out of a can and do something to contribute to others for a change. Trying to block free speech isn't working for you and isn't a good look.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The UBL raid is only part of the book and is very interesting. The rest of this book gives insight into the daily life and astounding dedication of these men. Many former military men and women have written books, I'm not sure why people are so upset about this one. It does not bash Obama at all; even if it did, this is America and we are entitled to our own opinions. Great book, amazing men.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down! I loved how he kept the boring stuff out of the book. Lots of action! Lots of humor as well! Nothing he said about tactics and what they did would be considered TOP SECRET! As a fellow GUN NUT i loved his pics. My only complaint is it was too short, but even if it was 700 pages i'd still feel it was too short! Do yourself a favor and buy the book its worth the 13 bucks!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fascinating read! Could not put it down. He was there. He has a right to tell the story. I saw no political bias one way or the other nor did I learn any details that hadn't already been talked about. It was a well written book and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the mission from someone who was there! Think it is well worth the time and money.
Rikalonius More than 1 year ago
Just finished the book and I frankly don't know what all the hype is about. As a twenty year Navy veteran who held a high level clearance, I'm sympathetic to his frustration with the do as I say not as I do dishonest double-standard of careerist officers in the Pentagon, who gladly divulge classified information when it suits them, but threat the full weight of the government against anyone down on the lower rung of the chain. The slew of negative reviews from "anonymous" are just bafflingly disingenuous. There are dozens of tell-all books penned by former SEALs, why does Mark Owen suddenly get tarred with the epithet traitor because he ignored the stupid secrecy agreement that apparently his Chain of Command, and Commander in Chief don't have to follow if it's politically expedient for them. No matter what you may think of his decision, the minor infraction of ignoring the dubious agreement in no way dishonors his faithful service under fire. Anyway attempting to make that argument is a fool, and I question the political agenda of anyone expostulating such a fallacy. To act as though the SEALs are some secret society of Ninja hidden from the world's knowledge is ludicrous given that a Navy backed movie showcasing their weapons and tactics just graced the big screen as a recruiting tool, wherein all the actors were themselves team members. Oh, but let’s pile on Mark Owens for relating his personal experiences, when as he says, it was the memoirs of a Vietnam SEAL that inspired him to join. The book is a just right account of the Bin Laden Raid, which was, less than a week after the fact, as common knowledge as Joe Biden's stupidity. There is nothing SECRET in its disclosure and I highly recommend it. I salute "Mark's" bravery as I'm sure he was under no delusion of the kind of backlash he would receive, yet he penned it anyway.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I remember well the night Obama announced to the world on live TV that bin Laden had been killed. The way he delivered his speech that night full of “I”s, you would have thought he personally put on a uniform and fired the shot! Thank you “Mark Owen” for finally setting the record straight! I thank you for your service and those of your SEAL brothers as well, and all the men and women in uniform that put their lives on the line every day to keep America safe. I found the book to be very well written and interesting to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thank you SEALS!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People that join the military understand what they are signing up for and what kind of pay they will recieve. But, they deserve a lot more. So what if he makes some money off of his story, I think more should do it. The american people need to know what all of us in the military go through and sacrifice for our country. I am a 100% disabled vet who was injured in Iraq and most people have no idea what I went through. This book gives people some insight into what kind of hard work we put into it. People like me, Mark and everyone else in uniform, would gladly do it over and over again, so that all of the haters have the freedom of speech. All my brothers and sisters in uniform and all the veterans, should be proud of Mark for what he has done and for telling it like it is. Anybody who reads this book should have a better appreciation for what we do. It is ok to give people an overview of what you do as long as you don't tell them any classified information, which Mark didn't do. This is a great book and I am proud of your service, Mark and I am proud of all the men and women who serve and have served.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book
SteveO2 More than 1 year ago
A SEA STORY by Joseph Pignataro and NO EASY DAY are two of the best Naval books out there. I liked A SEA STORY abit more even though it's less action, just as incredible though!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Held me from the moment I opened it! Mr. "Owen" wrote a superb story that describe brilliantly what I believe to be the ONLY account of "Geronimo's" death... Great account of the days in the life of a SEAL...how could anyone be upset about this? Good for the SEALS and good for Mr. Owen...may God bless them all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can someone please tell me what is classified among SEALs and how they know this? Nobody on here knows what is classified and what isn't so who are they to say that this book violated anything? And "bashing" the president? I don't think so. He explained things and gave his thoughts on them. Not everyone in the armed forces likes who they serve under, but they do their job and that's what matters. As for people saying that it was wrong for him to tell everyone about their orders to kill women and children...they need to be realistic. Innocent people die in war all the time and there is nothing you can do about it. Bad things sometimes happen when you decide to be 'nice'. Take the account of operation Red Wing by Marcus Luttrell for example. Mark might of been able to save his entire team if he would of just killed the people that stumbled upon them. WWII. Innocent people died. Yes, we were trying to stop it, and we did, but people still died. We can't save everyone and some things are necessary whether the public agrees with them or not. We have not been to war. We do not know what it is like so we need to stop pretending. Let people tell the true story. Imagine how hard it must be for people to carry out orders such as those. That is why everyone bought this book. To understand what happened. If you can't handle the truth don't seek it out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed reading the book very much even though I had my own personal reservations about the story being written. I am glad I read the book and thought it was informative, but not divulging as much information as the government had already reported. I think this Navy Seal was a HERO for many, many years before this mission. He, to me, is a dedicated, honorable, man. Our military is filled with heroes and I think his story tells us more of his commitment to our country than expose national secrets. I felt it was truthful and much thought was given to keep any personal information about his comrades out of the story, while at the same time, letting us know their human side too. I feel him or any of his comrades could be our next door neighbor without us knowing what he did on his last mission.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've only read what the sample allows (the first chapter) and I can already tell you that this book is well worth the $12 that you're going to spend on it. Very insightful on the mind that it takes to be a Navy SEAL Team Six Member
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A well written book, describing actions from the author's eyes. Very informative from a tactical standpoint, while not divulging secrets in a strategic way. I recommend this for any military history buff, or anyone that wants to really hear about the sacrifices out service men and women make.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this book if you were breathing air on Sept, 11 2001!!!
Derreck0218 More than 1 year ago
I am glad that Mark Owen wrote this book. I believe he put everything in it's proper perspective and it shed light on what needed to be highlighted, that is the sacrifice of the men and women in uniform--especially these special ops soldiers who were asked repeatedly to go into harms way risking their lives in many cases over a decade. It is almost daunting to think that we have had men fighting and training for over a decade. I have even more sense of respect for what the Seals and other special force operators do. I appreciate in the end that Mark Owen points out two things people outside of the uniform can do. I will only point to one: do something that is bigger than your yourself; basically sacrifice for purposes that are greater than your own. In the end, he correctly pointed out that although the Seals were used as a tool, it is what they signed up for, and politics aside the mission was worth it. Because their mission served a greater purpose although others may take much of the credit. There are some great lessons in this book: humility is another. I believe this guy to be genuine and a humble person despite his exploits. In the book, it is fascinating how he describes the aftermath of returning home and how guys who just left the field were cutting grass and changing diapers. I believe this guy told his story well, and I do not believe he deluged too much of what we already did not know. Like Mark Owen said in the book, the president told his story, so he (Mark) should be able to tell his and set the record straight. He did. Job well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With the attention leading up to the release of this book, I decide I needed to read it. Typical I stick to Fiction but a Non-fiction story about Seals is better than can be made up in any work of fiction, book or movie. Reading the book, you can feel the author's dedication and passion, not only for what he is doing but for what his service stands for. You can also feel the camaraderie and love he has for his brothers. This author and his counterparts in the book are TRUE HEROs. God bless the Seals. God bless what you have done, what you are doing, and what you will do!