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On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett

On Wings of Eagles (original 1983; edition 1984)

by Ken Follett

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1,232146,454 (3.6)16
Title:On Wings of Eagles
Authors:Ken Follett
Info:Signet (1984), Mass Market Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:Iran - History, Perot, H. Ross, Simons, Lt. Col.

Work details

On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett (1983)

  1. 00
    Op-Center by Tom Clancy (Hedgepeth)
  2. 00
    Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran (sneuper)
    sneuper: Books about escaping Iran before and during the revolution of 1979-1979. Although very different in approach (thriller vs. romance), the setting is the same.
  3. 00
    Whirlwind by James Clavell (sneuper)
    sneuper: A story about escaping from Iran during the revolution of 1978-1979.

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Ken Follett has written quite a lot of suspense-filled thrillers. On Wings of Eagles differs from his usual fare in that it is a thriller that is a true story from start to finish. Follett tells the story of the capture-for-ransom and subsequent escape to freedom of two executives employed by H. Ross Perot as the revolution in Iran was unfolding in early 1979. Looking back now, 35 years after the event, the success of the rescue mission stands in stark comparison to the failed mission to rescue the hostages taken at the US embassy later that year. Follett published his account in 1983, when the outcomes of each of these events was widely known, and yet I found that his story doesn’t carry the excitement that I had anticipated. Perot's collection of mercenaries, most of whom were already in his employ in other capacities, come off a bit thin, as does the unfolding story as Perot begins with conventional approaches to gaining his employees freedom before launching the rescue mission. Perhaps Follett has included too much detail. It is a good story, but told in a less-than-compelling fashion. ( )
  BradKautz | Dec 2, 2014 |
"On Wings of Eagles" is a heroic story about vastly different cultures during a religiously-motivated revolution, and how they directly impacted the lives of to two wrongly-imprisoned businessmen as well as their rescuers. The rescue effort would not have achieved fruition had it not been for the vision, funding, and ambition of Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems (EDS). He pulled together an extraordinary team and, with vast resources, would not accept failure as an option.

The first time I read this book was over (approximately) twenty years ago. My knowledge base as well as world view had widened and allowed for a significantly more meaningful read of this incredibly-written story. ( )
  LibStre | Feb 14, 2014 |
Pretty amazing story. ( )
  journeyguy | Apr 2, 2013 |
Reads like fiction yet is true. Here we have the amazing story of how Ross Perot hired an ex Green Beret to lead some of his executives in an attempt to rescue two other executives who were being held illegality in a Tehran prison. At over 400 pages, there is a great deal of detail on how the various men were selected for the team and much more detail about the situation in Iran. Probably a little tighter editing would have made made this a more compact read.
Fortunately, Follett has the ability to keep the narrative moving by changing from the various sites in Iran back to the USA so we are always aware what is happening. Not as well known as the more famous hostage taking at the Embassy, this was still an amazingly bold initiative which was successfully completed.
This is the second rescue organized and led by "Bull" Simons that I have read about recently. He is famous for the Son Tay raid to rescue American POW's in North Vietnam. His attention to details is anal but sure prevents screw-ups.
This is a very sympathetic view of Perot although his weakness and idiosyncrasies are indicated as well. Sure helps to have huge funds available when your employees get into trouble. ( )
  lamour | Jan 29, 2013 |
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I bare you on eagles' wings, and brought you unto myself. - Exodus 19:4
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It all started on December 5, 1978.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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The Team
The Eagles, a group of volunteers from the executive ranks of a great American corporation, hand-picked and trained by a retired Green Beret Officer

The Mission
To penetrate a heavily guarded prison fortress in Iran and free the Americans imprisoned there.

The Odds
If you had to calculate them, you didn't go. 

The story on these pages would have been incredibly exciting had it been fiction. but it is more than that - it is fact. It's a story that only Ken Follett, today's master of action and suspense, could do justice to.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451213092, Paperback)

The #1 International Bestseller now in trade paperback—with 16 pages of photos.

Number-one bestselling author Ken Follett tells the inspiring, true story of the Middle East hostage crisis that began in 1979, and of the unconventional means Ross Perot used to save his countrymen.


(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:37 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Relates the true story of a Green Beret colonel who came out of retirement to lead a secret raid to get two Americans out of an Iranian jail and home to America.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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