Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam

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9780871139252: Guests of the Ayatollah: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam
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From the best-selling author of Black Hawk Down comes a riveting, definitive chronicle of the Iran hostage crisis, America's first battle with militant Islam. On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students, inspired by the revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They took fifty-two Americans hostage, and kept nearly all of them hostage for 444 days.

In Guests of the Ayatollah, Mark Bowden tells this sweeping story through the eyes of the hostages, the soldiers in a new special forces unit sent to free them, their radical, naïve captors, and the diplomats working to end the crisis. Bowden takes us inside the hostages' cells and inside the Oval Office for meetings with President Carter and his exhausted team. We travel to international capitals where shadowy figures held clandestine negotiations, and to the deserts of Iran, where a courageous, desperate attempt to rescue the hostages exploded into tragic failure. Bowden dedicated five years to this research, including numerous trips to Iran and countless interviews with those involved on both sides.

Guests of the Ayatollah is a detailed, brilliantly re-created, and suspenseful account of a crisis that gripped and ultimately changed the world.

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About the Author:

Mark Bowden is the bestselling author of Killing Pablo, Finders Keepers and Black Hawk Down, which was made into a successful film by Ridley Scott. He is a national correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly.

From AudioFile:

Bowden bills the 1979-1980 Iranian hostage crisis as the opening salvo of the Islamic jihad against the U.S. For well over a year Americans were riveted--and helpless--as 52 diplomats, members of the military, and those there by accident were kept in various places in Tehran before finally being released after Ronald Reagan's inauguration. The author may be a nonprofessional narrator, but he knows how to invest a narrative with excitement and how to inject conversations with drama. Some hostages accepted their fate stoically, some vented anger on their captors, some became friendly with guards; Bowden communicates these responses well. Ten hours is a lengthy abridgment, so listeners get plenty of detail. J.B.G. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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