- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 6, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0147509734
- ISBN-13: 978-0147509734
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (415 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #108,944 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History Paperback – February 6, 2013
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“It’s a fast-paced, straightforward, and gripping story full of drama and compelling characters….For history buffs and Affleck fans, ARGO the book, provides added insight into a wild, if not widely known, incident in the history of American foreign policy and the CIA.”
“Besides being a talented spy, Mendez is also a gifted storyteller…His latest book is a page turner…”
“Fascinating story…This book is an exciting read.”—Deseret News
“ARGO is a mesmerizing book; a fast-paced, irresistible read that's equal parts politics, history and espionage.”
“This is an amazing and dramatic story of intrigue and deception set against the backdrop of
“Fresh and engaging…A solid choice for fans of thrillers and international intrigue.”
“[A] fast-paced account of a 1979 rescue operation during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979–1981…
Details of this dangerous operation inject strong suspense and excitement into the closing chapters.”
“One of the most daring and courageous clandestine operations during my career involved efforts to rescue Americans taken hostage in Tehran after our embassy was seized on November 4, 1979. Six Americans managed to escape the U.S. compound and flee to the Canadian embassy, where they were hidden A very brave CIA officer, Tony Mendez, using commercial cover, entered Iran with false identities for the six and, using techniques that ought to remain secret so they can be used again, managed to get them out of Iran.”
—Robert M. Gates, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and former U.S. Secretary of Defense, in his book From the Shadows
“This is a fascinating story about how Tony Mendez and the CIA used a bit of technical expertise and a lot of daring and courage to rescue American hostages in Iran. Tony is emblematic of the extraordinary men and women of CIA. Most of their stories cannot be told—but fortunately, in ARGO, Tony has been able to lift the veil of secrecy—just a bit.”
—George J. Tenet, former director of Central Intelligence Agency
“James Bond’s Q comes to life. This gripping, true story of a white-knuckle operation by a little known part of the CIA reads like a thriller. Full of authentic detail and characters, of bravery and drama, it’s a must-read for all spy enthusiasts and CIA watchers.”
—Dame Stella Rimington, former general director, MI5, British Intelligence
“The CIA and Hollywood in cahoots, a painter turned spy, an impossible rescue mission with no guns and only one chance at success—ARGO has everything. This remarkable white-knuckle spy story is torn from the pages of real life, and will have you up past your bedtime to discover its thrilling endgame.” —Eric Blehm, author of Fearless
“Forget your spy novels, here’s how this stuff really works: Two secret agents quietly enter the enemy camp, unarmed but for their wit and experience. Hiding in plain sight, they rescue six virtual hostages under the eyes of their captors, a covert operation seemingly devised in Central Casting. Now their story can be told – and it makes for one hell of read.”
—Peter Earnest, retired CIA officer and Executive Director, International Spy Museum
“This true spy story has it all: guile, audacity, and bravery in a struggle with a fanatic and lethal enemy, a crucial role played by a loyal ally, and a marvelous conspiracy with Hollywood.”
—R. James Woolsey, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency
“Artist-spy Tony Mendez paints a dramatic portrait of unlikely collaborators—Hollywood, the CIA and Canada—allied in the common cause of freedom. Mendez fills Argo with the drama, pressure and tension of one of CIA’s most spectacular rescue operations. ARGO is proof that espionage reality is more riveting than spy fiction.”
—Robert Wallace, former director, CIA Office of Technical Service
“Tony Mendez is a spy’s spy. His work saved my neck on numerous occasions. I laugh quietly to myself when I watch Hollywood’s version of disguise technology in today’s spy movies—because Tony did it better. What he did in the Argo operation was spine-tingling espionage at its very best.”
—James M. Olson, former director of CIA Counterintelligence
“ARGO is a must read to understand how dangerous risks have been successfully managed by men and women like Tony Mendez operating in secrecy for our protection.”
—William H. Webster, former director, Central Intelligence and Federal Bureau of Investigation
About the Author
Antonio Mendez served in the CIA for twenty-five years and is a highly decorated CIA officer, one of the top 50 officers in its first 50 years and a recipient of the Intelligence Star for Valor for the ARGO operation. The author of The Master of Disguise and Spy Dust, Mendez lives with his family in rural Washington County, Maryland.
Matt Baglio has worked for a variety of news organizations and magazines. Author ofthe bestselling The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist, he divides his time between California and Italy.
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Top customer reviews
And that’s pretty much, there’s not a lot to add. What annoyed me the most, was a feeling I had once I was done with the book: the feeling that the whole 310 pages-long story could have been told in 50. The book is plagued with personal anecdotes and references of past CIA operations not related at all with the exfiltration from Tehran. In fact, the description in the back cover summarizes perfectly what happens in the book. The book description in Goodreads, is pretty much the book itself: “…six Americans escaped the embassy and hid within a city roiling with suspicion and fear. A top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected). The rest are places, names, dates and details.
I didn’t like that the author, whenever he introduced a new character, includes a long (sometimes interesting, sometimes boring as hell) description of how they met, when had they worked before and under what circumstances, and a lot of unrelated details. Another thing that really bothered me: Mendez bragging about how no one in the world could had done a better job than him using humble sentences such as “… an internal nomination for the top fifty officers in the CIA’s first fifty years. Amazingly, I was selected as one of them”.
Anyway, the book has a fast pace and the author offers a good recollection of events. I was happy to know that I was reading how the CIA actually works and not how an author believes the CIA works.
Even though I didn’t like many things about this book, I did enjoy reading it, because of the events and the historical facts and not because of the narration nor the way the book is written. I believe the next time that I have nothing to do, watching Ben Affleck’s Argo, will be a good idea.
I haven't seen the movie. I raced through the book, couldn't seem to read it fast enough and found it hard to put down. I did not get the feel of an author who was self-important, as others have viewed him. But perhaps since I did not see the movie, I found that the author's chronicle of his own actions and experience helped me to understand his role in this story and what qualified him to play such an important part. I liked the writing style; it drew me in from the beginning and moved well all the way through.
I wonder whether someone not old enough to remember what it was like during the Iran hostage crisis -- and I do (I was 30 and have sharp recollections of the daily news coverage) -- can fully appreciate this story as anything other than an adventure. It really happened, it was a difficult time -- horrible for the hostages, of course, but also painful and divisive for the country -- and I found this book to be a good, very readable story about one aspect of the crisis.
Most recent customer reviews
Excellent writing very accurate a bit political.
This is the true story of the Iranian hostage crisis in 1980.Read more