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Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off…
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Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in… (edition 2012)

by Antonio Mendez, Matt Baglio, Dylan Baker (Narrator)

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Member:Carolfoasia
Title:Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History
Authors:Antonio Mendez
Other authors:Matt Baglio, Dylan Baker (Narrator)
Info:Blackstone Audiobooks (2012), Edition: Unabridged, Audio CD
Collections:Your library, 2012
Rating:****1/2
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Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez

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I saw the movie and really enjoyed it, but this is a rare case I think the film is better than the book, to choose one over the other. The problem may be that Mendez is writing from the distance of time and it lacks the immediate sense of danger that is better portrayed in the movie. It also didn't help that I already knew the ending having seen the movie. So the strength of the book would rest on its ability to impart tension (film is better) and impart new information, but much of that seemed trivial and forgettable. Maybe if I was a more serious fan of spycraft and the CIA. ( )
  Stbalbach | Mar 18, 2014 |
During the hostage crisis in Iran, there were a few Americans who had managed to escape the round-up and were having a non-hostage crisis of their own. They were hiding out in Tehran, terrified that they would be found out and end up with everyone else in the US embassy. Although the main group of hostages were a priority for the American government, the 6 who were in hiding turned out to be a more solvable problem. Enter the CIA and Antonio Mendez, who had a background in exfiltrations, disguises and forging travel documentation.

Most of the interest in the story is really to be found in a synopsis - the chosen cover story was that the Americans were a scouting team for a Hollywood production, and that cover was successful in getting them out of Iran. The prep of the escapees and their exit from the country are not all that involved or dramatic. I'm sure with a Hollywood treatment, the movie managed to make it a nail-biter, but the real story is rather bland and disappointing after all the buildup.

I listened to the audio book, which was narrated by the actor Dylan Baker. His dramatic reading style put me off at first, but I got used to it. It was an okay read (or listen, in this case), but one of those rare cases where I imagine the movie is better. ( )
  ursula | Jan 23, 2014 |
So much better than the movie. The hollywood crap that they tacked on to the end of the film really spoiled it for me. Reading about the CIA's 'forgery & decept' department made me squeamish but was also terribly interesting in a voyeuristic way. The book starts with a clear explaination of why the Iranians were so enraged by what America had done in their country. Middle Eastern politics is always so convoluted that it usually mystifies me but This I understood.

What I will never understand is why the guy who wrote 'No Easy Day' got so much flack and this book didn't. ( )
  Clueless | Jul 8, 2013 |
In 1979 a mob of 'student' protestors stormed the US Embassy in Tehran, Iran. Astonishingly the Iranian government flouted every international law and protocol, not only allowing the crisis to take place, but to keep it going. For 444 days the American diplomats and staff were held hostage. This is not their story.

Instead Argo is the fascinating re-telling of the rescue of six of the diplomats who managed to escape when the embassy was first overrun and found sanctuary at the home of the Canadian ambassador. The CIA, with the assistance of the Canadian government and two Hollywood legends were able to pull off one of the most spectacular rescues in history. Argo is truly a story that is so fantastic that had it not actually happened, no one would believe it. ( )
  queencersei | Jun 2, 2013 |
Oh my goodness, they certainly did take some liberties with the movie script. A LOT of them. Which I guess in an ironic kind of way is appropriate, considering....

It is one heck of a story--and I suppose I can see why the scriptwriter(s?) made a few of the changes--essentially, most of the really dramatic edge-of-your-seat stuff was complete fabrication. It definitely made for a more dramatic story, but it didn't make it more true to life, unfortunately. Still, I'm glad I saw the movie--it was a good movie--but I'm definitely glad I read the book too, so I know what was fact and what was fiction. Without all the Hollywood drama (again, the irony!) it's still quite the rescue. It reminds me of the Mark Twain quote, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn't.” If someone had written a totally fictional story like this, no one would have thought it believable! ( )
  beckymmoe | Apr 3, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Antonio Mendezprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baglio, MattAuthormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Baglio, Mattsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670026220, Hardcover)

The true, declassified account of CIA operative Tony Mendez's daring rescue of American hostages from Iran that inspired the critically-acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, and co-starring John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston.

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 is a little-known drama connected to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected.

Disguising himself as a Hollywood producer, and supported by a cast of expert forgers, deep cover CIA operatives, foreign agents, and Hollywood special effects artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake science fiction film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect film backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran.
Antonio Mendez finally details the extraordinarily complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A riveting story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage. 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:51 -0400)

This book relates 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 is 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, and 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. In this book the author finally details the mind-bogglingly complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. This is a true story of secret identities and international intrigue; it is the gripping account of the history making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.… (more)

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