Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden
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.

About Mark Bowden

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Mark Bowden is a noted body language expert, master of non-verbal and verbal communication, and a leader in the techniques of influence. The creator of TruthPlane, a unique model of training for anyone who has to communicate to an audience, his techniques are used now by top executives and political leaders across the globe. Mark gained his university degree in performance in the UK, and studied the gesture control methods of Jacques Lecoq's Laboratory of Movement, Paris; he has worked with leading practitioners of movement psychology and built upon the influence techniques of Dr. Milton Erickson. He holds a reputation as one of the UK's expert performance trainers, lecturing on performance at Drama Academies and Universities throughout the UK and across the world including RADA, Oxford and Cambridge; he is a highly sought after trainer in business communication at Canadian Universities including McGill, and international top ten business school Schulich at York. His client list of leading business people and politicians currently includes presidents and CEO's of fortune 50 companies and a G8 Prime Minister.
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 710 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Literature & Fiction, War. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Bowden’s (Road Work, 2004, etc.) contention that the capture of the U.S. embassy in Tehran was “the first battle in America’s war against militant Islam” needs qualification, for America had been battling by proxy for years.

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The New York Times

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It returns to the days when the cold war was America's primary foreign policy concern, the Middle East was one of many potential trouble spots that bore watching, and we lived in a protective bubble that was still intact.

May 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Guests of the Ayatollah: The ...

The New York Times

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SEEN from the perspective of today's Iraq, where Westerners unlucky enough to be kidnapped often reappear as corpses dumped in a gutter, the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979, and the 444-day ordeal that followed, feel almost quaint, as if the Islamic revolutionaries of an earlier...

May 14 2006 | Read Full Review of Guests of the Ayatollah: The ...

The Guardian

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Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden 680pp, Atlantic Books, £18.99 After Black Hawk Down, better known as a film by Ridley Scott, Mark Bowden wrote a readable bestseller on the life and death of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

Aug 12 2006 | Read Full Review of Guests of the Ayatollah: The ...

Publishers Weekly

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Signature Reviewed by Philip Caputo With Iran fingered in the latest National Security Assessment as America's number one enemy, Mark Bowden's new book is particularly timely.

Apr 17 2006 | Read Full Review of Guests of the Ayatollah: The ...

USA Today

Viewed through history's rear-view mirror, the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-80 is not such a big deal.Iranian students and others, some of whom we would now call "Islamo-fascists," took 66 American Embassy personnel hostage and held most of them for a terrifying 444 days.

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Bookmarks Magazine

In 1979, Iranian students who were followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and held 66 American diplomats, CIA officers, and military attachés hostage.

Aug 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Guests of the Ayatollah: The ...

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