Saturday, February 25, 2017

BOOK: Argo by Antonio Mendez

Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio Mendez ( 9 h 28 min)
nararted by Dylan Baker

This was a rollicking great listen! And now I want to see the movie Ben Affleck made about this.

I can vaguely remember the incident in 1980: six Americans were hidden in the Canadian embassy, and eventually Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor got them out. There were still many other Americans still in the American embassy, held by Iranian students.

In this memoir, Antonio Mendez, a former CIA operative tells his (major) role in the caper. I found all the intelligence information very interesting, especially with all the Intelligence talk in the news lately. He was a 'art forger', which means he made documents. He describes many previous operations he was involved in, and how he ended up in the CIA. Eventually he is involved in trying to ferry the hidden Americans out of Iran, no easy task.

It appears that the CIA at the time, did not want any media notice of their involvement, so allowed Ken Taylor to get all the accolades. The movie and this book tell a different story now, but both sides took plenty of risks, and Taylor kept the Americans in his house for six weeks at great personal peril.

Great insight into the intelligence community (albeit, what they've decided to share here) and a look at moment in history that is still having repercussions today.

Dylan Baker, who played the evil, rich crazy murderer on The Good Wife does an excellent job narrating.