Synopses & Reviews
On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students, inspired by revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. They took fifty-two Americans hostage and kept nearly all of them captive 444 days.
The Iran hostage crisis was a watershed moment in American history. It was America's first showdown with Islamic fundamentalism, a confrontation at the forefront of American policy to this day. It was also a powerful dramatic story that captivated the American people, launched yellow-ribbon campaigns, made celebrities of the hostage's families, and crippled the reelection campaign of President Jimmy Carter.
Mark Bowden tells this sweeping story through the eyes of the hostages, their radical, naïve captors, the soldiers sent on the impossible mission to free them, and the diplomats working to end the crisis. Taking listeners from the Oval Office to the hostages' cells, Guests of the Ayatollah is a remarkably detailed, brilliantly re-created, and suspenseful account of a crisis that gripped and ultimately changed the world.
"Bowden, whose Black Hawk Down won him a National Book Award nomination, turns his sights to the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. The audio abridgment is generally smooth, though it's often difficult to keep the cast of characters straight: 66 original hostages, dozens of Iranian captors and untold numbers of diplomats, bureaucrats and family members. On audio, such a dizzying array of stories and backstories can become confusing. Bowden is a capable and competent narrator; while there are no tour de force performances here, the reading is solid and consistent, with no annoying vocal tics or other distractions. The real bonus of the audio over the print version is the final disc, which contains several visual enhancements: a PDF map of the embassy compound; a map of Iran, with markings not only for cities but also the landing site of the ill-fated 1980 rescue mission; and, most impressively, almost nine minutes of footage from the Discovery Channel's four-part documentary Guests of the Ayatollah, featuring compelling interviews with surviving members of the rescue team. Simultaneous release with the Atlantic Monthly hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 17). (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A renowned journalist tells the sweeping story of the 1979 Tehran hostage situation through the eyes of the captives, the soldiers sent to free them, the radical, naive Islamist students, and the diplomats working to end the crisis. Abridged. 8 CDs.