- Series: Politics and Society in Modern America (Book 45)
- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Princeton University Press; New Ed edition (August 13, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780691127590
- ISBN-13: 978-0691127590
- ASIN: 069112759X
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #600,429 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Taken Hostage: The Iran Hostage Crisis and America's First Encounter with Radical Islam (Politics and Society in Modern America) New Ed Edition
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Farber . . . provides a fascinating glimpse into how events in Iran capped for Americans a decade of unfulfilled expectations and widespread disillusionment in the wake of the Watergate scandal, the fall of Saigon and a spiraling energy crisis.---Reza Aslan, The Nation
While Farber presents a detailed picture of the coming of the Iranian revolution, the rise of Islamic fundamentalism and the United States' inability to see the deal effectively with either, at the heart of his tale is America. Farber satisfyingly contextualizes the moment, vividly redrawing stagflation, the energy crisis and national malaise. . . . Farber gives a needed history lesson on the depth of political anger in the Islamic world and on the United States' incapacity to communicate its message. (Publishers Weekly)
Readers who want to explore the causes of the current war on terrorism should read this cogent recounting of the hostage crisis of the 1970s. Unlike earlier accounts, which were written before September 11, 2001, Farber's work forcefully demonstrates that the United States can no longer ignore the popularity of fundamental Islam in Muslim nations or the all-too-widespread contempt for American democracy in these countries.---Karl Helicher, ForeWord Magazine
David Farber's book demonstrates that Americans--then as now--understood neither the foe that confronted them nor its motives.---Anthony McRoy, Muslim World Book Review
This is solid narrative history. It does not attempt a generalized analysis of the behavior of revolutionary regimes, nor does it seek to place the response to this hostage crisis within a larger historical context. Farber's epilogue, moreover, offers no especially dramatic observations, though he does point toward the fact that Ronald Reagan, as Carter's successor, despite his tough rhetoric, was President when there were more Americans killed by terrorists than during all U.S. administrations put together up to that time. Apart from the author's excessive use of the parenthetical expression, the book is skillfully written. It deserves a wide audience.---Russell Bohite, The Historian
"Farber has produced a succinct and authoritative book on the hostage crisis that is well researched, engagingly written, and persuasive in its conclusions. What's more, it's a real page turner. The book includes numerous fascinating vignettes, including the story behind the story of why Americans displayed yellow ribbons to seek the hostages' safe return. A truly first-rate work."―Fredrik Logevall, University of California, Santa Barbara
From the Back Cover
"Farber has produced a succinct and authoritative book on the hostage crisis that is well researched, engagingly written, and persuasive in its conclusions. What's more, it's a real page turner. The book includes numerous fascinating vignettes, including the story behind the story of why Americans displayed yellow ribbons to seek the hostages' safe return. A truly first-rate work."--Fredrik Logevall, University of California, Santa Barbara
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The book is very strong with the background of Iranian/US relations. Most Americans probably don't realize the important role people like Eisenhower (and the CIA) played in deposing Iranian despot Mossadegh and installing Mohammed Reza Pahlavi (the Shah) into power.
Farber does a nice job of explaining how it is the policy decisions of the US government that were the root causes of the hostage crisis. The main decisions being installing the Shah and subsequently providing refuge for an ailing Shah in mid-1979. An interesting parallel can be drawn today with the current war on terror. Al Qaeda doesn't hate America so much for what we stand for as for the policy decisions we make.
Farber also does a nice job of describing the troubled days of the Carter administration. Carter had to deal with almost insurmountable problems during his term. Stagflation, high unemployment, the gas crunch and finally (his ultimate downfall) the crisis in Iran.
The book reads very quickly for a so-called historical white-paper. I would recommend it for anyone who is interested in knowing a bit more about the history of Iran and the hostage crisis as well as those interested in the war on terror and some of its early beginnings.
It is so much more than just an account of the hostage crisis. Farber really delves beneath the surface of the events and decisions related to the crisis. He paints a picture for the reader of the sentiments prevalent among the citizenries of both the United States and Iran. He goes further by describing the reasons behind those sentiments. This puts the decisions made by the Carter administration, the actions taken by the Iranians, and the reactions to both of these by the American public in a context and framework essential to understanding the hostage crisis and its related issues. Highly Recommended.