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Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival Hardcover – June 7, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 183 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I really connected to Maziar’s story. It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.”—Jon Stewart
“An important and elegant book . . . a prison memoir enlarged into a family history.”The New Republic
“Clear and compelling . . . engaging and informative—a gripping tribute to human dedication and a cogent indictment of a corrupt regime.”Washington Independent Review of Books
Then They Came for Me is not only a fascinating, human exploration into Bahari’s personal experience . . . it also provides insight into the shared experience of those affected by repressive governments everywhere.”Mother Jones
“A damning account . . . Then They Came For Me turns a lens not only on Iran’s surreal justice system but on the history and culture that helped produce it.”The Washington Post
Then They Came for Me is a unique achievement. It is a story not just of political cruelty (a subject Bahari treats movingly), but also about the two poles of Iranian political culture, bent together in upheaval.”The Guardian (UK)
“A beautifully written account of life in Iran, filled with insights not only into the power struggles and political machinations but into the personal, emotional lives of the people living in that complicated country. Maziar Bahari is a brave man and a wonderful storyteller.”—Fareed Zakaria

Then They Came for Me is the story of those who fight to inform and enlighten their society. Fortunately, Iran is not only a country of Ahmadinejads and mullahs; the country is also blessed with plenty of Maziar Baharis.”—Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

About the Author

Maziar Bahari is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker, and human-rights activist. A correspondent for Newsweek from 1998 to 2010, he was born in Tehran, Iran, and immigrated to Canada in 1988 to pursue his studies in film and political science. Bahari’s documentaries have been broadcast on stations around the world, including HBO, the BBC, and the Discovery Channel. In 2009, he was named a finalist for Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, often described as Spain’s Nobel Peace Prize; he was nominated by Desmond Tutu. He lives in London with his wife and daughter.
Aimee Molloy is the co-author of three previous books: Jantsen’s Gift with Pam Cope; This Moment on Earth with Senator John Kerry and Teresa Heinz Kerry; and For God and Country with James Yee. She also served as an editor of Laurie Strongin’s Saving Henry. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; First edition (June 7, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400069467
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400069460
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (183 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #703,721 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Oddly enough I learned about this book while watching the author (a very likeable fellow) be interviewed on what I believe was THE DAILY SHOW. His sense of humor, obviously a protective device effectively used to keep his sanity despite the tragic losses of several important family members, was quite impressive. As the book jacket indicates this "A riveting, heart-wrenching memoir..." offering "insight into the past seventy years of regime change in Iran, as well as the future of a country where the democratic impulses of the youth continually clash with a government that becomes more totalitarian with each passing day. An intimate and fascinating account of contemporary Iran, it is also the moving and wonderfully written story of one family's extraordinary courage in the face of repression."

What has struck me most about the book was the author's deep devotion and dedication to getting the story out of what was happening in his native country. Much of the book describes the brutal treatment he receives from a ruthless interrogator he nicknames Rosewater after he is arrested for filming a peaceful demonstration protesting the rigging of an election where the incumbant had clearly NOT been reelected. The author is accused of working for American intelligence because of his coverage for NEWSWEEK magazine. Both the author's father and sister had at one time been arrested and imprisoned for their own political involvements. It is his British wife however and his brother-in-law who become instrumental in helping him get out of prison. During the time he is imprisoned, however, the author draws strength from remembering his father's and his sister's words.

The author concludes the book with an Epilogue, Acknowledgements, a Who's Who and a Time Line.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Bahari's account of events surrounding the 2009 Iranian presidential election and his subsequent imprisonment and torture by the Iranian regime is an astoundingly good read. This gentleman is a skilled writer and unwinds his story so deftly that I, well, couldn't put the darn thing down. Ever since I read Orwell's 1984 as a kid, I find little scarier than the abuse of state power. This manages to be both a horrifying and weirdly endearing book. Very highly recommended.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I saw the author's interview on The Daily Show, and was compelled to purchase this book- the author came across as extremely well spoken, with a good sense of humor and a level-headed approach to life. I have never purchased a book due to watching an author's interview before, but I'm glad I did for this one. I knew very little on the subject of Iranian politics prior to reading this book, and the author presented it in a way that wasn't overwhelming, but yet didn't feel dumbed-down, either. His writing is engaging, and I felt completely swept up by this book- I finished it in a day!
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Format: Hardcover
This turned out to be an incredibly educational read. Having been in the military and serving close-by to Iran, I had some exposure to the issues with stability of the governments in the region lending a propensity for corruption and abuse. This book gives a very in-depth view into how they got to be that way and how bad things have gotten in Iran. Of course this wasn't just an educational read, it was an absolute page-turner... The author's presentation led me to feel the heartbreak (of the author and the nation) through every twist and turn.
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Format: Hardcover
I can't believe this book has only 10 reviews.

The summary of this book is pretty straight-forward: It is an account of journalist and filmmaker Maziar Bahari's life, along with the lead-up to and his detention by Iranian authorities in the wake of the 2009 presidential elections.

The real gift of this book is Mr. Bahari's writing. Maziar is a great writer, and this book is extremely accessible and easy to get through. The details are poignant, the story is compelling, and there is enough elaboration, background, and personalization in the right places. The presentation of his experiences; his family's history; Iranian politics; it is all weaved together seamlessly to make for a really engaging text. Moreover, you are absolutely drawn into Maziar's experience, you feel as if you were with him, yet in a perfectly balanced way which neither gives nor takes too much. Simply, this book was a pleasure to read for its writing--its lucidity, wit, and of course the experiences it communicates. It's very clearly written by a talented journalist and was wonderful to read after a spat of poorly written books. Truly, it was a pleasure to read your writing, Maziar.

Maziar's family is also intimately weaved into the story. The son of Communist activists--who also experienced prison--different eras of Iranian politics are touched upon. Maziar's touch in portraying his family is done with the care and skill of a formidable writer. His family is a part of him, and he relies on their memory during his time in prison. Their experiences seamlessly mesh with the entirety of the account...

His endearing 83-year-old mother, Moloojoon, weary after decades of repression, her unique humor and resilience forged by having been beat down by the world.
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