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A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran Hardcover – April 6, 2010
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
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"A Time to Betray" is a spy thriller for the ages. It reads like a novel and has the chilling impact of a skillfully written spy story. However, the author is not a fictional character... --Magazine of The Marines - Leatherneck
...the book is also a very important contribution to the understanding of contemporary Iran and the role of intelligence in the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism. --By: Hayden B. Peake - CIA - The Intelligence Officer's Bookshelf
...A charming Mark Twain, Tom Sawyerish sort of escapade...Compelling new book...Most thrilling, exciting and also very disturbing...Very Important new book... --By: Milt Rosenberg (Nation's leading author interviewer)
Far and away the best book I've read this year.Wow! Loved it, loved it, loved it. I started reading it and literally couldn't put it down. It's a spy story so riveting and a love story so moving that at times I found myself having a hard time breathing, and other times was wiping away tears...
--Joel C. Rosenberg (New York Times best-selling author)
"It’s a compelling read, one that not only talks about the true nature of the Iranian regime but also of the Iranian people, who have now twice tried to free themselves from the yoke of lunatic mullahs trying to destroy the entire world for their dreams of eternal power."
--Ed Morrissey, Hot Air
"...the story [Kahlili] tells—of the Iranian revolution and how he came to despise it—is genuinely powerful. It offers a vivid first-person narrative of how the zealots of the Islamic republic created what has become a nightmare for the Iranian people... One of the strengths of this book is that it makes the author’s decision to betray his country- or, more properly, the people who are running it- seem like a morally correct and laudable action. Indeed, people in the Iranian operations division at the CIA should welcome A Time to Betray as a virtual recruitment poster."
--David Ignatius, The Washington Post Book world Review
"This is the first inside account by someone so strategically placed. Without embellishing, Khalili manages to convey the horror of Iran’s regime after the downfall of the Shah. Everyone with an interest in the region or in U.S. foreign policy or in real-life espionage will be interested."
—Marcia L. Sprules, Council on Foreign Relations Lib., NY, Library Journal
"A Time to Betray provides a riveting account of how the author, who uses the pseudonym Reza Kahlili, worked undercover and sent intelligence reports to his CIA handlers, all while a suspicious counterintelligence officer was chasing him."
--Ken Timmerman, Newsmax
"Equal parts astonishing and disturbing, this perfectly crafted memoir will open your eyes to the heinous past, troubled present and murky future of Iran...Using insider information, Kahlili excels at painting an enthralling portrait of a country impacted by religious and political extremism. What makes “A Time to Betray” so powerful is two fold: First, the story reads like a John Grisham novel. Second, the narrative is refreshingly objective. Throughout his gripping journey, Kahlili ping-pongs between being a devoted son of Iran and a U.S. supporter. The emotion this produces creates an astonishing read that will have you rethinking what you know about the Middle East."
--Nicholas Addison Thomas, THE FREE LANCE-STAR
"This is one of those rare books that grabs you from the very first page—from the very first sentence, in fact—and will not let you go until it is over."
"Overall I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it was written in a simple yet sincere and touching manner and brought tears to my eyes on more than one occasion (not an easy thing to do.) The revelations in the book are interesting and serve as a remainder of the brutal human rights violations committed by the Islamic Regime against the Iranian people."
--Sayeh Hassan, Canada Free Press
"This book reads like a spy novel and is riveting. For readers who enjoy that kind of information, A Time to Betray is a 'can't miss.' Beyond that, it provides a fascinating and crucial window into a world the rest of us cannot access."
"A Time To Betray: The Astonishing double Life of a CIA Agent inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran is a fantastic book and I highly recommend it…The secrets revealed in the book, the intrigue, the mixed feelings Kahlili has working as a spy, keeping his actions secret from everyone he knows and loves, makes the reader feel like a fly on the wall -- seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling what Kahlili experiences…I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and say if you do not read it you are missing out of the book of the year."
--The Right Truth Book Club
"A Time To Betray is certainly a thriller, with Iranian intelligence always only one step behind Kahlili’s next move. But Kahlili also writes about an idyllic childhood and illustrates the Iran that disappeared after Ayatollah Khomeini’s revolution."
"...A charming Mark Twain, Tom Sawyerish sort of escapade...Compelling new book...Most thrilling,exciting and also very disturbing...Very Important new book..."
"It is a fascinating read, full of intriguing anecdotes - the story of three childhood friends from Tehran, who as adults found themselves on parallel and conflicting paths."
About the Author
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym to protect the author’s identity. Reza was born in Tehran, Iran, and served in the Revolutionary Guards and acted as a spy for the CIA. He now lives in California.
Top customer reviews
I highly recommend that everyone read this book.
The man is nothing if not courageous. He takes great risks each time he appears, and his recent disclosures about the advancement of the Iranian nuclear program should chill the hearts of all Americans, and indeed everyone who cares about our future.
My chief reservation concerns what I consider Khalili's excessive optimism about the desire of Iranians to be rid of the Islamic regime and its imposition of sharia law on the general populace.
A recent survey, exposed by my colleague Dr. Andrew Bostom, indeed shows that a large majority of Iranians in fact --- still, after more than three decades of Islamic rule --- still support the sharia law.
Whatever the majority may feel about the mullahs imposing their version of sharia, we cannot be fooled by the "election" of "moderate" Hassan Rohani to Iran's presidency, a "moderate" directly involved in planning the 1994 Hezbollah attack on Buenos Aires Jewish Center that killed more than 85 people and wounded hundreds more, according to a 2008 report from the U.S. non-profit, Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC).
After the recent Iranian election, Washington's Free Beacon reminded us of that 2008 report, which had noted that Rohani sat on the secretive Special Affairs Council, tasked with recommending individuals for assassination in consultation with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Khalili is not fooled by the recent election either. But he does, strangely, continue to insist that the vast majority of Iranians wish for secular democracy.
His courage notwithstanding, and that is considerable, Khalili on this score, I think, deludes himself with wishful thinking.