A New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Indie bestseller. A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist in History. Longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in nonfiction. Named by the Wall Street Journal and Publishers Lunch as one of the top 10 nonfiction books of 2017, an Amazon top 100 book of the year, one of the Washington Post's 50 notable works of nonfiction in 2017, one of the Christian Science Monitor's best 30 books of 2017, an ALA notable book of the year, and a Kirkus Reviews and Hudson Booksellers best book of the year in nonfiction. A GoodReads Choice Award Best History First Round pick. A Military Times and Chicago Public Library best book of the year. And selected for a Kindle Daily Deal in January 2018 (selling 3,913 copies the week of the deal).
Hue 1968 has been excerpted by Vanity Fair online (http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/the-true-story-of-the-marine-on-the-tank-vietnam-war) and by Tom Ricks on the Foreign Policy website. It was an Amazon Best Book of the Month in the history category for June 2017, a New York Times Book Review editors' choice, and on the Chicago Tribune's "ultimate summer reading list." Bowden was interviewed by Dave Davies on NPR's Fresh Air on June 12. It was also chosen as one of the New York Times's "20 Must-Read Books on the Vietnam War" alongside David Halberstam's The Best and Brightest and Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie; one of nine books on Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel's summer reading list; one of the Christian Science Monitor's 10 best books of June; and as The Week's book of the week in the "review of reviews" section. In his “By the Book” interview for the New York Times Book Review, Tom Hanks named Hue 1968 as the last book that made him cry.
Hue 1968 is Mark Bowden's most monumental work of narrative nonfiction. The culmination of six years of research—including almost 50 original interviews with relevant Vietnamese figures and dozens more with American veterans, reporters, photographers, and other key characters—the book offers the most comprehensive and vivid account of combat in the longest American war of the 20th Century.
We are launching Hue 1968 in June and have a detailed plan to continue promotion, focused marketing, publicity, and author appearances through October. In September Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s major 10-part, 18-hour documentary film series, “The Vietnam War,” will premiere on PBS. Novick has been supportive of Bowden writing this book, and viewers will be a perfect target audience for the book.
We are promoting the book with a full-page ad in the New York Times, in the New Yorker (plus digital ads in the New Yorker newsletter), trade advertising, and targeted military outreach through digital advertising and Facebook groups.
The 50th anniversary of the Battle of Hue and the Tet Offensive at the end of January 2018 will offer an opportunity for further promotion of the book.
Though Hue 1968 is primarily based on first-hand interviews, Bowden has also done extensive archival research across the United States and in the archives of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in Hanoi (previously untapped by any American writing for a trade audience), and drawn on contemporary media clippings, diaries, letters, official documents, and more.
The combat veterans and correspondents (including key players who reported for the New York Times, CBS, and Stars and Stripes) Bowden has interviewed for the book are excited about its publication and will help spread the word. We will send out a several-hundred-copy big-mouth mailing.
This is the first time Bowden has written a book about an urban battle since his #1 New York Times bestseller Black Hawk Down—one of the greatest accounts of urban warfare ever written. It has sold over 4 million copies.
Black Hawk Down was the basis for Ridley Scott?s 2001 blockbuster film of the same name. The dramatic rights to Hue 1968 have been sold to Academy Award-nominated filmmakers Michael Mann (Heat, Public Enemies, Last of the Mohicans) and Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Moneyball), who plan to develop it with FX Productions for an 8-10 hour miniseries. The deal was announced in a Deadline piece.
Mark Bowden is a Halberstam of today, and his ability to recreate high-stakes battle scenes on the page is on par with that of Antony Beevor, Rick Atkinson, and John Toland.
Bowden, a leading feature writer for the Atlantic and Vanity Fair, has regularly hit the New York Times bestseller list since Black Hawk Down (Grove, 1999). The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden debuted on the list at #7. His most recent book, a collection of pieces called The Three Battles of Wanat, was an Amazon Best Book of the Month in nonfiction.
Black Hawk Down was a finalist for the National Book Award in Nonfiction; Killing Pablo won the Overseas Press Club’s 2001 Cornelius Ryan Award as the book of the year; and Guests of the Ayatollah was listed by Newsweek as one of “The 50 Best Books for Our Times.”
Bowden’s books continue to backlist strongly for us. We have another collection of pieces, focused on Bowden’s crime reporting, under contract.
Hue 1968 is also an important media story. Journalists—including the New York Times Saigon bureau chief Gene Roberts and Walter Cronkite and his colleagues at CBS News—played a crucial role in revealing the truth about what was happening on the ground in Hue despite government insistence on downplaying the National Liberation Front’s successes.