Editors Note:

EDITOR'S NOTE: Fresh off a three year managerial stint, your friendly neighborhood lenslinger is back on the street and under heavy deadline. As the numbing effects of his self-imposed containment wear off, vexing reflections and pithy epistles are sure to follow...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Guests of the Ayatollah

So what do you do when a favorite journalist pens a hefty tome on you first political rememberance? You drop some coin for the hardback and savor every syllable. That's what I did with Guests of the Ayatollah, Mark Bowden's 637 page chronicle of the Iran Hostage Crisis. As he did in Killing Pablo and Black Hawk Down, Bowden weaves diverging timelines into rapid-fire situation reports, making the reader feel like a fellow operative on whatever dark exploits he examines. Here, Bowden has much to juggle: the clumsy yet effective takeover of a sleepy embassy by idealistic and often bumbling college students, the decaying mental state of the 66 American staffers caught in a surreal slumber party of deprivation and third world fervor, the seeming paralysis of President Carter to do anything about it, and the foolhardy courage of a young Delta Force - training for a daunting rescue mission that would end in confusion and spilled blood at a place called Desert One. Like the humiliating and protracted stalemate it describes, Guests of the Ayatollah bogs down somewhere in the middle. But all is forgiven at book's end, when the epic tale of America vs. Iran comes to a troubling close. It's the all too probable sequel that worries me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've trolled the site for quite a while, and this is the first time I've written in here, but I live over in Greensboro, and am going to be shooting a promotional video for my boss, and figured you'd be the guy to go to, about where I can find a really high quality camera to rent for a week or so? I used to work in TV eons ago, acutally just 5 yrs ago or so, and am pretty familiar with the Betacam's but was really looking to rent one of the new disc cam's.
Do you know of anywhere in the area I could go? If you or anyone else knows of anywhere, you can either just post it here, or email me: photogguy2006@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance, and you really do a great job. Keep up the great writing.