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on September 6, 2011
very accurate, i have read in twice already and have lent it to a few other people and everyone who's read it really likes it
It details the who process from a very unbiased perspective and that's what makes his story believable. Much of such books have been written by Iranian opposition with very biased look but this book is the most accurate by far.
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on May 24, 2012
Only recently did I come across this book, published in 2006. Mark Bowden's astute observations on the forces at play during the hostage crisis of 1979-80 remain valid today towards understanding the dangers of politically exploiting cultural divisions.
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on September 14, 2008
As you might well guess from the title of the review, I am a Mark Bowden fan. I always look forward to his work, and this is no disappointment. Bowden is superb as giving a three-dimensional view of events without getting so bogged down in the details that the story loses its sense of urgency.

Although he doesn't come out and say it, Bowden makes the role of the media clear in providing what Margaret Thatcher used to call "oxygen to the terrorists." In retrospect, it does seem clear that the American news media gave Carter little to no room, resulting in the disaster at Desert One. I have never been a fan of Beckwith and company, but I must confess I felt some sympathy for Delta and the Armed Forces, for their willingness to attempt such an insanely risky mission and the technical problems they faced. Without launching a polemic against American foreign policy, Bowden does make clear that the Americans had made a rod for their own backs with their past choices and interventions. Overall, an engaging narrative of an exciting series of events.
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on December 30, 2006
A most relevant book in the current geo-political landscape in the middle-east.

Details of the doomed Operation Eagle Claw rescue mission was most revealing and all the more tragic.

Bowden is a Carter sympathizer, that much is clear. Although Bowden does a good job of providing more insight into the Carter administration at that time.

The book is the most detailed account of the Iran hostage crisis so far. Bowden's researching abilities are second to none. Bowden remains mostly neutral presenting a balanced view from both sides (hostage and kidnapper).
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