444 Days: The Hostages Remember

Tim Wells, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P $19.95 (469p) ISBN 978-0-15-132803-1
Based on interviews with many of the diplomats and others held hostage in the 1979 seizure of the U.S embassy in Tehran, this oral history conveys their ordeal with unusual immediacy. The chronological account, interspersed with useful background material on the crisis, conveys vividly what seemed to many of the hostages the dream-like quality of both the embassy takeover (""This can't be real,'' one recalls thinking) and the subsequent liberation. During detention there were unending days of fear, anxiety, intimidation, and tedium in diverse locations in the 27-acre U.S. compound. The mix of feelings about their captors (``Instead of disliking them, I felt sorry for them,'' writes one hostage), media coverage, and American diplomacy as depicted here is revealing. All were stunned by their jubilant welcome home: ``Heroes? We're not heroes. We're survivors,'' argues one. November 4
Reviewed on: 01/01/1985
Release date: 01/01/1985
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