In the Shadow of the Ayatollah: A CIA Hostage in Iran

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"The dramatic film footage of U.S. embassy personnel in Tehran taken hostage by Islamic militants in 1979 remains a haunting memory for Americans who watched the crisis unfold on television. But far removed from the news cameras an even more harrowing series of events took place that involved the author of this book. Bill Daugherty was specially targeted by his captors once they learned he was an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Enduring extraordinarily harsh treatment, he managed to survive the 444-day ordeal by relying on his
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Overview

"The dramatic film footage of U.S. embassy personnel in Tehran taken hostage by Islamic militants in 1979 remains a haunting memory for Americans who watched the crisis unfold on television. But far removed from the news cameras an even more harrowing series of events took place that involved the author of this book. Bill Daugherty was specially targeted by his captors once they learned he was an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Enduring extraordinarily harsh treatment, he managed to survive the 444-day ordeal by relying on his training as a Marine and his experience in combat. Ultimately he was awarded the State Department Medal of Valor and the CIA Exceptional Service Medal." In addition to his own firsthand knowledge of events, Daugherty draws on intelligence information not available to previous writers, recently declassified materials, and interviews with key government officials to shed light on what happened and why. Among the book's many revelations are details of the decision-making process in the White House during the crisis and the involvement of the former Soviet Union. To help the reader fully understand the situation, the author also takes a serious look at U.S.-Iran relations over the past fifty years. Daugherty's account of this pivotal event in U.S. diplomatic history is impressively objective and, considering the still volatile situation in the Middle East, it begs careful analysis.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Daugherty was a fledgling CIA agent posted to Iran in September 1979, just in time for the embassy takeover on November 4th of that year. He spent the next 444 days as a prisoner (mostly in solitary confinement) of Ayatollah Khomeini's student radicals. To set the background for the Ayatollah's revolution, the author devotes the first half of his book to analysis of Iranian-U.S. relations during the cold war, when successive U.S. administrations focused on the shah as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. Believing the shah invulnerable, Daugherty says, American policymakers turned a blind eye to the brewing threat of Islamic fundamentalism. That threat became a reality when the shah abdicated and was ultimately admitted to the U.S. In the ensuing chaos, Daugherty and 52 others were seized, relentlessly interrogated and moved from one prison to another to prevent rescue. Daugherty's account of his captivity (the book's second half) weaves together his personal experiences with developments in Washington, as the Carter administration struggled with an unappetizing array of political and military responses. The author presents a remarkably objective view of events in the U.S. Even when he vehemently disagrees with a step taken by President Carter, Daugherty explains the policies that impelled the president to act as he did. The weakness of the book is the author's admitted lack of specialized knowledge about the language or culture of Iran or the tenets of Islam. Daugherty offers stereotyping more than informed analysis of fundamentalist Islam, and this seems especially unfortunate after the catastrophes of Sept. 10. B&w photos. (Oct. 29) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557501691
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2001
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

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