The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden--from 9/11 to Abbottabad

Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad, a New York Times bestseller was selected by the Washington Post as among the best non-fiction books of 2012, and The Guardian named it one of the key books on Islamist extremism. It was the 2012 Sunday Times (UK) Current Affairs Book of the Year, and was awarded the Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Award for best non-fiction book of 2012 on international affairs.

New York Times bestseller

Washington Post: One of the best non-fiction books of 2012

The Guardian: Key book on Islamist extremism

The Sunday Times (UK): Current Affairs Book of the Year, 2012.

The Times (UK): one of the best non-fiction books of 2012

Overseas Press Club Cornelius Ryan Award: Best non-fiction book 2012 on international affairs.

In Manhunt, Peter Bergen delivers a taut yet panoramic account of the pursuit and killing of Osama 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.

Half a world away, Bergen takes us inside the Situation Room, where President Obama considers the 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 Ops 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.


“Virtually crackles with insider details…Bergen’s Pakistani sources gave him new insight into bin Laden’s home life…The details of the SEAL raid itself…[make] for compelling reading. Bergen puts the raid into a broader intelligence framework and deftly re-creates the heart-thumping tension of that night and the calculations that went into pulling off the daring mission…Bergen’s three other books have become required reading for national security buffs and counterterrorism reporters. But Manhunt is different. It goes to a higher level…Bergen has accomplished a journalistic feat: He manages to make the story of bin Laden’s end sound new. He has put together a real-life thriller that will be a must-read for years to come.”
Dina Temple-RastonWashington Post

“A gripping read…Bergen has an eye for memorable close-ups. His narrative has authority…Packed with satisfying observations…Highly readable.”
The Economist

“Some of the more illuminating sections of Manhunt concern the efforts of intelligence analysts to piece together a ‘working theory’ about Bin Laden’s whereabouts…Also fascinating are the descriptions of internal debates within the Obama administration.”
Michiko KakutaniNew York Times

Janet MaslinNew York Times

“Gripping…Dramatic…A masterful account of bin Laden’s life and activities, how al Qaeda operated in the aftermath of Sept. 11, and the American government’s success in tracking down the world’s most notorious terrorist leader.”
Joshua SinaiWashington Times

“Terrific…A fast-paced narrative that takes you into the search for the most-wanted man in human history.”
Bruce Riedel, The Daily Beast

 “The most thorough, independent account published on the bin Laden hunt to date.”
Steve CollNew York Review of Books

“Meticulously reported, pacy and authoritative book.”
Jason Burke, The Observer

“Bergen clearly gained extraordinary access to the core US intelligence team whose job it was to track Bin Laden down, and his book succeeds first and foremost as a sort of CIA procedural, a real-life Homeland, complete with its shockingly violent denouement…has the feel of a definitive work.”
Julian Borger, The Guardian

“The book makes for a rattling and thoroughly researched read on the last days of the world’s most notorious terrorist.”
Duncan Gardham, The Daily Telegraph

“Bergen, a journalist who once interviewed Bin Laden, tells the story of the search with considerable authority and conviction”
Max Hastings, The Sunday Times

“This is a very good, well-sourced account, as good on the White House, the military and the CIA as on what happened in Abbottabad”
Alan Judd, The Spectator

“Brilliantly told in Peter Bergen’s Manhunt. With access to sources at all levels, Bergen, a seasoned reporter of Afghanistan who actually interviewed bin Laden for CNN in 1997, reveals how the operation was planned and mounted – and very nearly didn’t happen.”
Robert Fox, Evening Standard

“Drawing on his excellent government sources, his deep knowledge of al Qaeda, and his reporter’s instincts (which got him into the Abbottabad compound just after the raid). His book is full of fascinating details and illustrates the immense pressure on national security bureaucracies to provide options to policymakers and then reduce the risks associated with their implementation.”
Laurence FreedmanForeign Affairs

“Painstakingly researched….an addictively readable account.”
–The Independent

“Peter Bergen provides a detailed and authoritatively sourced account of the events leading up to bin Laden’s demise, set within the wider context of al- Qaeda’s emergence on the world stage, the 9/11 attack and the US-led response to it….Bergen sets out at length and with authority the dilemmas and uncertainties facing President Barack Obama and his advisers in discussing options and determining their eventual course of action, with Obama coming across as focused, cerebral and, when it came to it, decisive….Bergen has written a compelling action narrative, but one that never loses sight of the wider strategic context.”
Nigel Inkster, Survival

“Peter Bergen’s fine account”
Michael SmerconishPhiladelphia Inquirer

“The story is riveting because it is as if Bergen were embedded everywhere — the situation room of the White House, three miles high in the rugged mountains of Tora Bora and alongside the Navy SEALS who would put a quick and dramatic end to bin Laden’s life.”
–San Antonio Express

“Bergen’s telling of the actual operation — flashing from Special Ops movements to administration anticipation, including the White House Correspondents Dinner, where Seth Meyers famously made a crack about Bin Laden having a show on C-SPAN — is riveting, even though we know exactly how a good manhunt, particularly this one, ends.”
Swati Pandey, Los Angeles Review of Books

“This superbly researched account of the United States’ decade-long effort to track and kill bin Laden provides the intimate details on virtually every critical decision along the way…The book actually transcends its subject matter, demonstrating the best practices of critical thinking by the people who do it best…Present[s] the evidence on both sides of even the most controversial issues, without agenda or bias…Compelling and authoritative.”
–Huffington Post

“Dispassionate and authoritative…What the author brings to this epic story is context and perspective…Bergen has the credibility to tell this story.”
Frank Davies, Miami Herald

“A compelling story, told with authority, of the final takedown of likely the most wanted criminal in history.”

“riveting and well-written.”
–International Affairs

“I devoured it. It’s an important book, which I urge you to read as soon as you can…Bergen’s moment-by-moment account of the raid makes for gripping, even breathless, reading.”
–Clay Jenkinson, Bismarck Tribune

“A thrilling account of the raid on bin Laden, as well as a detailed record of the CIA’s decade-long search for the elusive terrorist leader.”
–Bob Kustra, Idaho Statesman

“Bergen’s writing unfolds throughout with all the tension and action of a well-crafted detective story. It is an irresistible account.”
–Winnipeg Free Press

“Ten years of grit, intelligent hard work, and daring led to Operation Neptune Spear, and Bergen captures it all in a story that is both a riveting page turner and a definitive history. Revealing details of bin Laden’s last years in self-imposed prison, the debates of the CIA analysts who tracked him, and the training of the SEALs who killed him, Manhunt is essential reading for anyone who wants to know the real story of how the world’s most wanted terrorist was finally brought to justice.”
ERIC GREITENS, author of The Heart and The Fist: The Education of a Humanitarian, the Making of a Navy SEAL

“With masterly reporting, Peter Bergen takes us where we’ve never been: behind the high walls of Osama bin Laden’s last hideout and behind the scenes of the heroic and painstaking hunt for the Al Qaeda mastermind.Manhunt is a thrilling read.”


May 3, 2012

Bin Laden’s End, From the Beginning: ‘Manhunt’ by Peter L. Bergen, About the Bin Laden Killing

New York Times
May 4, 2012

‘Manhunt: The Ten Year Search for bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad’

The Washington Post
May 4, 2012


The Washington Times
May 5, 2012

Hide, but you can’t run: One year on, the story makes for a gripping read

The Economist
May 5, 2012

Manhunt by Peter Bergen – review

The Guardian
May 6, 2012

Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad — The 10-Year Search for Osama Bin Laden by Peter Bergen

The Sunday Times
May 12, 2012

Mission Accomplished

The Spectator
May 21, 2012

Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad – the 10-year Search for Osama bin Laden by Peter Bergen: review

The Telegraph
May 25, 2012

Has killing bin Laden achieved as much as the US hopes?

Evening Standard
June 15 2012

“Manhunt: From 9/11 to Abbottabad by Peter Bergen – review”

The Guardian
May 31, 2012

‘Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden–from 9/11 to Abbottabad’

Huffington Post
16 June 2012

“Irresistible account of bin Laden manhunt”

Winnipeg Free Press
July 2012

Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad Reviewed by Lawrence D. Freedman

Foreign Affairs