The true account of the 1979 rescue of six American hostages from Iran
On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there's a little-known footnote to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a midlevel agent named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them.
Armed with foreign film visas, Mendez and an unlikely team of CIA agents and Hollywood insiders - directors, producers, actors - traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect scenery and backdrops, the team succeeded in contacting the escapees and smuggling them out of Iran without a single shot being fired.
Antonio Mendez finally details the mind-bogglingly complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A true story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.
©2012 Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks
author of books for teens and children
I listened to the audiobook before I saw the movie. I preferred listening to the nonfiction account of the mission in Iran and other fascinating CIA missions rather than the Hollywood-ized version of events for the movie. The truth really was amazing and there was no need to fictionalize it.
Antonio Mendez is a hero and I'm glad he got the credit he deserved.
Yes! This is such a fascinating slice of (fairly) recent history, but so few (until now) knew anything about it. If you already saw the movie, this will fill in many, many details for you - as well as delineate what was theatrical license to make the movie flow & what, in the movie, was portrayed exactly like it happened. If you haven't seen the movie, you'll love this book, too! As I said, I listened to this twice in a row & might listen again, soon, as each time I picked up on something different. A true-life spy thriller, with all the bells & whistles.
When the author went back to where the diplomats were staying, & they'd all gotten into character for the roles of their lives.
How many people and how much planning, at the CIA, goes into POSSIBLE situations that MAY erupt around the world (made me proud). Plus, all the details that might change from moment to moment on something as seemingly innocuous as an entry visa, & what "our people" do to keep on top of those details. I love all the minutiae/idiosyncrasies/technicalities of real spy work. :)
I saw the movie at the theater twice (which I never, ever, ever do...which shows how fabulous I thought it was!), wanted to know all the details one couldn't learn from the movie, & therefore used a credit for the audiobook. I am so glad I did, as the story has loads more to it, and the narrator keeps it moving. I kept having to remind myself that the author wasn't sitting with me, telling me his story!
Got this to keep me awake during road trip by myself. Loved the story. Really fascinating to hear the background details on how the CIA really operated ... it's not blasting through doors and spraying gun fire, it's detailed work, research, smart decisions, and good graphic artists. Graphic artists! We in the US (and the world, really) never heard the full story behind the six who got out, and here's our chance.
For those of us who remember watching the news daily (including Ted Koppel's new show at the time Nightline), it's amazing to remember that news from the embassies to D.C. had to be "cabled." And no one was live Tweeting during the embassy takeover. No camera phone pics. Embassy personnel were stationed at phones to ensure connections stayed open. And during extraction operations, CIA operatives were stationed at phones to call in a "go" signal. Public phone booths, remember those?
The narrator was the biggest weakness. He sounded a little stilted, sort of carboard or wooden. And his emphasis on the last "s" in the word "houseguests" (what the six were called prior to their extraction from Iran), had me rolling my eyes by the end. But I'm so glad I didn't let the narrator keep me from this story. It's a great listen and a fabulous story.
For any artists, graphic artists or counterfeiters out there, it's a must listen!
Really enjoyed this, if you like the movie, you should listen to this book to get the real story.
This was a great story. It was exciting from start to finish. Being from Ottawa it was also nice to here about Canada's involvement in the rescue. I also found the narrator did a great job. All around excellent book.
Say something about yourself!
The CIA at it's best -- this is the book on which the award nominated film is based. Makes you proud that in the middle of a bureaucratic mess, there are individuals who think creatively and have the skills and courage to pull of some really audacious stuff to protect us all.
I remember when it was reported that some Americans got out of Iraq but I had no idea the intrigue involved. It was interesting which countries would not help the Americans. The Canadians were true heroes. Great read.
I did not know much about Argo prior to seeing the movie. I really enjoyed the movie. But I figured there was more to the story, and boy is there a lot more to tell. Mendes is one of those outstanding American characters that seems more fiction than fact. Now granted everyone likes to pain themselves in a positive light but I get a feel that he is for real. So if you liked Argo and want to know the details inbetween then definitly listen to the book. If you have not seen Argo then listen to the book and you will get a treat that sheds light on the evergoing complicated world of espionage, government and the Middle East.
If you remember the Iran crises this is a very telling story of what happen to some of the people in Iran at the time. No question this book is so superior to the movie which leaves out much and puts in too much.
It's a must listen.
Getting through the Airport
Unsung hero's of the CIA
Yes, because it is one of my favorite books and movies.
The Amazing Detail!
The protagonist, because he was likable and brave
No, but I would have loved to!
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