Friday, March 22, 2013

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio

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Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History 
by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio
read by Dylan Baker
Audiobook
9 hours and 27 minutes
Non-Fiction
2012

Book Jacket Summary
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's 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, 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.
Antonio Mendez finally details the mind-bogglingly complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A true story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.

My Thoughts
When the movie version of Argo won Academy Award for best picture I knew I had to read the book. I found it on Overdrive and began to listen as the adventure unfolded. There is so much information in this book about the history of Iran, the CIA, and diplomacy that it made my head swim at times but it is still relevant to the world we live in. It always amazes me that there is so much history and information that I do not know. This book helped fill in those gaps and kept me entertained throughout. That is all I ask of a non-fiction book, please teach me something but make it fun.
Argo is the name of a mission that extracted six Americans that had escaped the American Embassy in Tehran and brought them safely home. There were several countries involved in this rescue and Canada ended up being the key to bring our people home. The narrator had a pleasing voice and made it easy to understand. Medez made it thrilling to hear about other CIA extractions and even though I knew they would make it I was on the edge of my seat at times.
This is a great audiobook to listen to on a car ride because it will keep you engaged and you will learn about a moment of history that not many people knew about before this decade. I would recommend that libraries put this in their collections because I am sure that students will want to know more after watching the movie!

Book Pairings
The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA

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