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October Surprise Paperback – November 10, 1992

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Piercing the shadowy netherworld of international espionage, Sick has written one of the most controversial and disturbing accounts of political intrigue to appear in recent years. In 1980, William Casey, then campaign manager of the Reagan-Bush ticket, without the knowledge or approval of the legitimate government, arranged a deal with the Iranian government that in return for military equipment, the Iranians would not release the 52 American hostages until Ronald Reagan was safely inaugurated. Sick offers no proof, nor does he try to, that George Bush took part in these talks, or that Reagan was aware of this international scam. What is critical and potentially devastating is that a party out of power subverted the democratic process for gain. Sick, with impeccable credentials as one of America's leading authorities on Iran, presents a thoroughly documented, convincing appraisal of what he describes as nothing less than a political coup. Highly recommended for current affairs collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/15/91.
- Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp . Lib., King of Prussia, Pa.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: Three Rivers Press/Times Books (November 10, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812920872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812920871
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,781,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robert Carlberg on August 12, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is easy to tell who has read this book, and who was sent by a certain self-important talk-radio host to try to discredit it with 1-star criticisms -- without ever having opened the book.

Those who say the book claims George H.W. Bush flew to Paris on an SR-71 have fallen for the Big Lie. It most emphatically does NOT say that (that claim actually comes from a similarly-titled book by Barbara Honegger).

What Gary Sick *does* say, on page 223, is this: "In the absence of convincing corroboration, however, I have reserved judgment. For example, several reports have surfaced claiming that vice-presidential candidate George Bush was present at least briefly in Paris during the course of negotiations in October. I have always been uncomfortable about this allegation. [...] I was also aware that the allegation about Bush might have been deliberately floated in order to discredit the story."

And what is this "story" that so needed discrediting? What negotiations were taking place in Paris during October of 1980?

This book presents a sober, convincing and very carefully-documented case that members of Ronald Reagan's transition team -- led by William Casey, Reagan's campaign manager and future head of the CIA -- met on October 19, 1980 with representatives of the Iranian government and various intermediaries and arms dealers. Their purpose? To trade arms and frozen assets for a promise that the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini would continue to hold the American hostages, seized in a raid on the American Embassy almost a year earlier, until AFTER the US presidential elections in November.

As it turned out, the hostages were released just minutes after Reagan was inaugurated January 20, 1981.
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Comment 14 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
The wealth of information from well-documented sources revealed in this book is overwhelming, and I believe that I would do great injustice to its potential impact if I were to summarize it here. Having just finished the book moments ago, I feel compelled to implore that all those who truly believe in democracy and responsible government read it as well. It will open your eyes to the way things really are, or at least make you question many of the assumed truths regarding our recent history.
What makes the author's allegations even more convincing is the fact that he is not merely a conspiracy-theory nut trying to discredit the right-wing at all costs. Rather, he himself has played a central role in various administrations' dealings with the Middle East and can personally testify to many of the events that took place preceding the manipulation of the hostage crisis by Reagan's powerful and influential campaign team.
I couldn't stop shaking my head as I read further and further into the book. The hypocrisy of the Reagan administration was simply appalling. You would have to be a die-hard Republican (unwilling to accept nor even hear of any hints of wrongdoing by Reagan) not to at least acknowledge that the allegations contained in this book warrant a thorough investigation.
If you have already read the many nostalgic books on the Reagan administration, or bought videos about our supposed "one of the greatest Presidents", let me dare you to read this book with an open mind. You'll see that it's not only the "liberals" that commit all types of scandals, they just happen to not be as good as the Republicans at covering it up at the highest levels.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a description of the ascertain that the Reagan-Bush campaign made a secret deal with Iran to delay the release of the American hostages until after the 1980 election in return for arms. This claim gained real credence when the hostages were actually released about 2 hours after the swearing in of Regan but gained further credibility with the on again off again weapon sales made to Iran in the preceding years. Someone that was involved in both the Carter and Regan administrations so you I tended to give him some credibility right from the start writes the book.
I found the book very well documented, well laid out and readable. One chapter lists the fates of those involved in the deal. Overall it will hold your attention no matter what side of the political side you are on. For an interesting different view of this situation I would suggest reading the book "Crisis" by Hamilton Jordan. It covers the topic of the hostages from a different perspective.
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Gary Sick, a former US Navy intelligence analyst who served on the National Security Council under Presidents Ford, Carter and Reagan, has written an incisive account of the double-dealing American-Iranian-Israeli weapons/petroleum co-dependency that has undermined democracy in the US and abroad for many decades. The right-wing and corporate media have responded to these allegations with the usual mix of denial, doubletalk and attempted character assassinations of those who dare to investigate and promulgate the facts. This conspiracy, whitewashed by a Senate investigation in 1992, highlights the necessity for American and global democracy to achieve a reasonable degree of regional self-reliance (eg: renewable energy, genuine arms control) rather than remaining addicted to multinational corporate welfare, Machiavellian pretenses of "free trade" and money-manipulated, superficial democracy.
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