BookBrowse Reviews Guests of the Ayatollah by Mark Bowden

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Guests of the Ayatollah

The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam

By Mark Bowden

Guests of the Ayatollah
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  • Hardcover: Apr 2006,
    704 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2007,
    704 pages.

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A monumental piece of reportage, deserving a wide readership

From the book jacket: On November 4, 1979, a group of radical Islamist students stormed the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Inspired by the revolutionary Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini, they hoped to stage a three-day sit-in protest of the American decision to allow exiled Iranian leader Shah Mohammed Reza to enter the United States for medical treatment. But these modest, peaceful aims were supplanted by something much more severe and dangerous. The students took sixty-six Americans hostage and kept the majority of them for 444 days in a prolonged conflict that riveted the world.

The Iran hostage crisis was a watershed moment in American history. It was America's first showdown with Islamist fundamentalism, a confrontation that has remained at the forefront of American policy to this day. In Iran, following the ousting of the Shah, a provisional government was ...

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