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In the Company of Heroes: The Personal Story Behind Black Hawk Down

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  3,691 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Piloting a U.S. Army Special Operations Blackhawk over Somalia, Michael Durant was shot down with a rocket-propelled grenade on October 3, 1993. With devastating injuries, he was taken prisoner by a Somali warlord. With revealing insight and emotion, he tells the story of what he saw, how he survived, and the courage and heroism that only soldiers under fire could ever kno
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Mass Market Paperback, 432 pages
Published December 5th 2006 by Signet (first published 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Donald Plugge

Michael J Durant's personal story of survival provides only brief back story before delving into the actual battle. The account is told mainly as a first person narrative describing his experience with a limited number of broad picture overviews of the entire battle. He describes what happened to him. If you'd like a complementary and complete overview of the mission, read "Black Hawk Down" by Mark Bowden.

Once Michael's Black Hawk Super Six Four is hit in the tail by an RPG, you go directly into
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Paula
Apr 29, 2012 Paula rated it really liked it
Disclosure: Mike Durant is a personal friend.

The truth behind the movie Black Hawk Down, with the incredible true story by Mike Durant.

If you saw the movie Black Hawk Down, you may recall the name of the man that they would not leave behind: Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Durant. If you watched national news broadcasts in October 1993, you saw the battered face of Michael Durant. America watched with shock as he was dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

The hostilities in Somalia have b
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Laura Leaney
Feb 11, 2013 Laura Leaney rated it liked it
This was, for the most part, an interesting straightforward account of Michael Durant's time in the military, focusing primarily on the downing of his Blackhawk over Mogadishu, Somalia, and his time spent in captivity as a prisoner of the Somali warlord Mohamed Aidid. What I liked about the book was the rather no-nonsense clarity of it. The big picture - especially America's involvement in Somalia - was (except for Durant's negative opinions regarding the Clinton administration) omitted. This ...more
Marcee
Jul 03, 2007 Marcee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes Military History
Shelves: recommended
This book is about Michael J Durrant. He is a pilot with the 160th SOAR or the Night Stalkers as they are known in the military. They are special forces helicopter pilots and are considered the "best of the best" as far as aviators are concerned. This book deals specifically with the events featured in the book and movie "Black Hawk Down".

Michael Durrant is the pilot of one of the two blackhawk helicopters that were shot down over Mogadishu, Somalia in October of 1993. He is the only survior of
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Chrissy
Dec 01, 2013 Chrissy rated it it was amazing
This was a really good first-hand account of the experiences of Mike Durant during his capture and captivity in Somalia after his Blackhawk went down. Durant doesn't shy away from telling it like it is/how he saw it. The author also gives you glimpses into the Night Stalkers and their intense camraderie which I really enjoyed. I did read Black Hawk Down before reading this book and would encourage other readers to do that as well because it gives you good context as to what was going on. I would ...more
Saman
Dec 09, 2015 Saman rated it it was ok
Other than the horrible injuries, he had a very mild captivity.
Jerome
Jun 09, 2012 Jerome rated it really liked it
I had been looking forward to this book for some time but it didn't live up to my expectations. If you're looking for a book about Mike's life as an SOF pilot then this does the job quite well. If, like myself, you're expecting a balanced account of Mike's experience in Somalia, you may be let down.
About half the book is taken up with anecdotes and memories that have nothing to do with Somalia. That's no big deal as it is still an interesting read, but the description on the back cover doesn't p
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Michael Mcclelland
The movie Black Hawk Down portrayed a battle in the streets of Mogadishu between American forces and those of Somali warlords. Perhaps better than in any other film was its capture of modern urban warfare. Even more terrifying to some though, was its display of U.S. combat failure. Whilst the battle may have been indeterminant in "the war", and casualties massively higher on the Somalian side, to the US public - seeing the partially dismembered corpses of American soldiers dragged triumphantly ...more
Lexie Robinson Austin
Sep 24, 2012 Lexie Robinson Austin rated it really liked it
Great book, great story, solid writing.

Okay, so here's one of my deep dark secrets: secretly, I really love army action movies like Black Hawk Down (my husband loves this about me). I'm a big fan of the movie. I always knew that I lived in the same town as Michael Durant, however until I was reviewing pictures of Facebook of a local speaking engagement he gave, I never realized that he had written a book about his time behind enemy lines in Mogadishu. I immediately put it on hold at the Library.
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DC
Aug 15, 2015 DC rated it really liked it
It's been a long time since I read this one; it's obviously time for a re-read...

This is the story of Michael Durant. He was piloting one of the Blackhawk helicopters during the "Blackhawk Down" raid in Somalia, Africa in 1993. His was one of two choppers to go down that day, and a couple of Special Ops guys dropped-in to protect him until they could be rescued. But, the rescue didn't arrive in time. The two guys that dropped were Delta Force Operators Gary Gordon and Randy Shughart. They fought
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Danielle
Aug 16, 2011 Danielle rated it it was amazing
I read this book after reading Black Hawk Down (which in spite of it's lengthiness I was glued to). This book had the same effect on me, this book pulls you in and doesn't let go till the ride is over. Recommended for anyone who enjoys non-fiction,especially military fiction, or anyone who should pull their head out of the sand and learn about what really happened in Somalia 1993 and the sacrifices these heroic men made.
Marshall Berndt
Oct 28, 2016 Marshall Berndt rated it it was amazing
A very well written non-fiction story. Gives a full perspective of the battle not only from Durant's view but the view from his peers and of the higher officials. He also includes the reaction of every action. If there was a mistake he tells how government officials and the media responded to the mistake. He also includes minute details that will be relevant later in the story when they happen, not later in the story, causing him to re-explain details for the smaller things to make sense. Along ...more
Cary Kostka
Oct 05, 2016 Cary Kostka rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
Fantastic view into a tumultuous and short lived Somalia campaign and life as a POW and political pawn. The author and the other brave troops that were engaged in Somalia are all heroes. His look into the day to day ordeal is nothing short of inspirational, and should be required reading.
Shane Skavdahl
Sep 22, 2015 Shane Skavdahl rated it it was amazing
"In The Company Of Heroes" is an inspirational book about life, death, and the importance of friendship and building relationships with people that could end up saving your life. I chose this historical nonfiction book because I love The United States Marine Corps, Navy, Army, Coast Guard and Air Force, and this seemed like a compelling read even when I first picked it up in Barnes and Noble because this tied all branches into one book.

The setting is October 1993, Mogadishu, Somalia. After a fa
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Oceana2602
Remember when I finished "Bye-bye baby" and promised NOT to watch JAG again, no matter how much I wanted to after looking at all those pretty, pretty F-14s?

Well, I lied.

Shame on me. I'm currently in the middle of season 8 of JAG, and, as always, watching the shiny, happy world of JAG, makes me want to read some real stories, to remind myself that the world isn't such a shiny, happy place after all, and also I am an unapologetic and hopeless hero-worshipper. Hence, JAG. It's really coompletely ri
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Simon
Oct 11, 2012 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had friends in Mogadishu in October 1993 when the 'Blackhawk Down' incident, in which Mike Durant was shot down and captured, occured and so I have had a bit of an personal interest in the battle. In 2000, another friend attended a RAND urban ops seminar where some of the survivors of the battle also participated - he came home, having read Mark Bowden's 'Blackhawk Down' on the plane home, and told us all to buy a copy and read it. In 2002, Ridley Scott's movie of the same name came out. For ...more
Dawson McLaughlin
Apr 22, 2015 Dawson McLaughlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: english
The book “In the Company of Heroes” by Michael J. Durant was a very good book. It focused on the life of Michael Durant before, during and after being shot down in Somalia. He was providing transport to a task force of both Ranger and Delta forces he sacrificed his helicopter so that they could carry out their mission successfully. He was found and taken by the head of Somali Rebel group Minister Adbi. He was interrogated but otherwise treated relatively well. I was not very interested at first ...more
Rowan
Dec 28, 2010 Rowan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chase
Jan 05, 2011 Chase rated it really liked it
This is an extremely well written story, especially for a man who was never a writer by profession. I think he really captured the emotions he was feeling, and was highly effective at conveying those emotions to the reader. I found myself laughing out loud at his jokes, sniffling and fighting back tears when his hopes were dashed, puffing out my chest with pride at being an American because of his portrayal of the comeradere of the boys in green. It was a great story.
The only thing I would like
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David
Since I'm a fan of Black Hawk Down I had to read this just to get a singular account. Michael Durant was the surviving Black Hawk pilot who was taken and held captive from the crash site in Somalia. He gave a good account of what he went through with the kidnapping and how he got back, and also gave a good history of his company and the action he had seen since he had been flying. The one thing he reveals in this book that I will never forget is the horror of what happened when the mob of angry ...more
Chad
Aug 14, 2013 Chad rated it it was amazing
Shelves: war, biography
Very well written, detailed story of the events leading up to, the capture of Blackhawk pilot Micheal Durant. This is the third book I've read dealing with the details of the Battle of Mogadishu, and by far the best. Very humanized version written by a very professional man who was loyal to and cared deeply about his military family.

This book is riveting and you sometimes feel you are right there with him. The only difference is, unless you were, you have no idea what he went through. One can o
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Nicole
Jul 19, 2016 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Michael Durant teams with Steven Hartov to describe the events of October 2003 and the RPG shot which downed Durant’s Blackhawk and lead to him being captured and held prisoner by members of warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid’s militia. With a broken back, femur, and cheekbone along with other injuries, Durant endured days of endless pain and uncertainty as he waited to see if he would be rescued by his brothers in the 160th or killed at the hands of angry Somalians. Durant and Hartov do an excellent ...more
Chuck
I am not a particular fan of military books, but since I had read and enjoyed Mark Bowden's "Black Hawk Down", I decided that I would give this book a try. It is written by Michael Durant who was the pilot and only survivor of his shot down attack helicopter in Mogadishu, Somali in 1993. It is, of course, the story of the crash, the capture, his extensive injuries, his dealing with the Somali warlords, the filth, the anger and the politics of his situation. The wonderfully intersting part of the ...more
Lori
Jan 23, 2016 Lori rated it it was amazing
Bought this book as a result of speaker at Rockwell Collins Leadership Club some years ago. True story, terrible tragedy and I knew it would hit too close to home to be anything but an intense learning experience! When we think 'we've had a bad day', we have no idea! Michael Durant was piloting a Black Hawk that was shot down over Somalia and he was captured.

In many instances, Michael painted a picture in his mind of what he needed to see in order to get through. He assumed a positive attitude f
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Lisa
May 15, 2013 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who have read "Black Hawk Down" (context needed.)
Shelves: military, history, memoir
August 2010: I found this a much slower read than "Black Hawk Down," "Platoon Leader," or "House to House." But, I really liked it a lot.
NEW 5/15/13: Honestly, almost three years later, what I most remember about this book is how Michael was essentially dying and having flashbacks of an old girlfriend. Having never been married, and having to listen to my church Pastor constantly put down ex-girlfriends and advise men to think of them as "dodged bullets" and such, it makes me feel a little bette
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Joe K
Jun 02, 2013 Joe K rated it it was amazing
In The Company Of Heroes

This book is one that opens the eyes of those who believe war is stories of heroes who fight in battles and come out with not a scratch upon them. That only those stories are told by those who are skilled, but most of the reason they will survive is luck. It tells a story of bravery and survival from the man who literally endured hell on earth. This is a great book, especially to those who enjoy war stories. I would recommend it to anyone who is considering joining any of
...more
Stacy
May 03, 2014 Stacy rated it really liked it
Shelves: military
Ever since reading Black Hawk Down, I've wanted to know more about SOAR and Mike Durant. This book gave me exactly that! I'm looking forward to reading more books about SOAR and also Mike Durant's other book. It's hard to say I loved this book because the material is tough and emotional reading at times, but definitely worth reading. Mike Durant is certainly a stronger person than I am - I can't imagine living through captivity like that with the injuries he had sustained in the crash! I loved ...more
Joseph
Oct 25, 2011 Joseph rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A real good book that really does compliment Black Hawk Down. It is about the pilot Durant that is captured by the milita. It is almost a biography of his military history though as it describes a lot of his expriences that are used when he was captured. I liked it a lot and would have maybe given it 5 stars but his loose talk or comments on everything seem to take away from the book a little bit. I understand why he is going it. He is treating the book as more of a conversation to the readers, ...more
Keith
Sep 21, 2011 Keith rated it it was amazing
Most people are somewhat familiar with the story of Blackhawk Down as both a book and a major film. Here, is preserved the autobiography of the man who survived the crash of his helicopter and was captured by the Somali militants. Durant keeps the story alive and interesting as he moves between his experience in captivity and the story of his life that brought him to and prepared him for this ordeal. Gives a completely different perspective from the broad overviews given in Blackhawk Down. Would ...more
Maria
Aug 02, 2008 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book increased the appreciation I have for those who serve in our military. It was interesting to hear Durant recall his experience and I would like to read "Blackhawk Down" and learn of the experience of everyone else on that fateful day in October. I could not give this book five stars because there were too many times that I found that vocabulary inconsistent as if a thesarus was used as an afterthought to edit. I also have to admit that I was disappointed to learn that his marriage ...more
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