Mark Bowden

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This article is about the American author. For the British composer, see Mark Bowden (composer). For the United Nations official, see Mark Bowden (United Kingdom).
Mark Bowden
Born Mark Robert Bowden
(1951-07-17) July 17, 1951 (age 63)
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Pen name Mark Bowden
Occupation Author
Nationality American
Notable works Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War

Mark Robert Bowden (born July 17, 1951) is an American writer and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, he is a 1973 graduate of Loyola University Maryland. While at Loyola, he was inspired to embark on a journalistic career by reading Tom Wolfe's book The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.[1] In 2010, in his acceptance speech for a lifetime achievement award at the National Book Awards, Wolfe called Bowden one of the two "writers to watch" (along with Michael Lewis).[2]

From 1979-2003, Bowden was a staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Over the years, he has written for The New Yorker, Men's Journal, The Atlantic, Sports Illustrated, and Rolling Stone. Some of his awards are listed below.

As a result of his book Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, Bowden has received international recognition. The book was made into a 2001 movie directed by Ridley Scott.

He currently lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania. Bowden's son, Aaron, is also a writer. Bowden's own father, now deceased, was a first cousin of former Florida State Seminoles football coach Bobby Bowden.

Works[edit]

Books[edit]

Forewords[edit]

Articles[edit]

On coercive interrogation and torture[edit]

In the October 2003 issue of The Atlantic, Bowden's article "The Dark Art of Interrogation" appeared,[6] advocated a ban on all forms of coercive interrogation, but acknowledged that in certain rare instances interrogators would be morally justified in breaking the law, and ought to face the consequences. Written more than a year before the violations revealed at Abu Ghraib and other detention centers, it said, in part:

The Bush Administration has adopted exactly the right posture on the matter. Candor and consistency are not always public virtues. Torture is a crime against humanity, but coercion is an issue that is rightly handled with a wink, or even a touch of hypocrisy; it should be banned but also quietly practiced. Those who protest coercive methods will exaggerate their horrors, which is good: it generates a useful climate of fear. It is wise of the President to reiterate U.S. support for international agreements banning torture, and it is wise for American interrogators to employ whatever coercive methods work. It is also smart not to discuss the matter with anyone.

On pages 231-234 of the book The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson, Bowden's article is mentioned as a reference to the CIA's Project ARTICHOKE, a program to create ways of interrogating people that could be brutal or even fatal.

Filmography[edit]

Future of the media[edit]

Bowden holds unconventional views on the future of the media in the 21st-century. He does not believe attention spans are shortening and believes young people are just as drawn to "deep" journalism as other generations. He stated in March 2009: "Nothing will ever replace language as the medium of thought, so nothing will replace the well-written, originally-reported story, or the well-reasoned essay."[8]

Criticisms[edit]

From June 2012 through March 2013 the legal blog "Trials & Tribulations", which reports on Californian trials and legal affairs, has run a seven part series titled "Fact Checking Mark Bowden's Curious Vanity Fair Article on Stephanie Lazarus".[9] The blog series disputes facts in Bowden's July 2012 Vanity Fair article, "A Case So Cold It Was Blue",[10] suggests that quotes and states of mind of key persons in the narrative had been made up by Bowden to fit his story, and questions whether Bowden had done any relevant interviews or had attended a single day of the murder trial of former LAPD detective Stephanie Lazarus, whose case was the centerpiece of his story. In Part VI,[11] published on T&T in October 2012, Bowden's editor at Vanity Fair, Cullen Murphy, declined to comment on the record about the errors in Bowden's article. Part VII,[12] from March 2013, suggests that Bowden will not respond to questions regarding the disputed Vanity Fair story when asked either through Email or in person.

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "My First Literary Crush", Salon.com, November 15, 2005. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  2. ^ C-SPAN Book TV interview with Tom Wolfe on November 17, 2010. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  3. ^ Taylor, Ihsan, "The Best Game Ever: Interview With Mark Bowden", The New York Times, December 25, 2008, 12:55 am. Retrieved 2011-08-17.
  4. ^ "The 'Worm' That Could Bring Down The Internet", author interview (audio and transcript), Fresh Air on NPR, September 27, 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-27.
  5. ^ Daugherty bio, Armstrong Atlantic State University; and "William J. Daugherty: Bringing terrorists to justice", opinion, Savannah Morning News, January 8, 2010 6:52am. Retrieved 2011-09-14.
  6. ^ "The Dark Art of Interrogation", The Atlantic, October 2003. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  7. ^ "History TV Shows". History.com. Retrieved 2014-04-28. 
  8. ^ "Special Guest: Mark Bowden (Part 2)", Bellum, A Project of The Stanford Review, March 17th, 2009.
  9. ^ "Fact Checking Mark Bowden's Curious Vanity Fair Article on Stephanie Lazarus",
  10. ^ "A Case So Cold It Was Blue, July 2012"
  11. ^ "Fact Checking Mark Bowden's Curious Vanity Fair Article on Stephanie Lazarus"
  12. ^ "Fact Checking Mark Bowden's Curious Vanity Fair Article on Stephanie Lazarus"

External links[edit]