After watching “Argo” I was prompted to learn more about the events leading up to the political upheaval that caused the Iran Hostage Situation. I selected “444 Days” to read because the book is comprised of the individual narrations of nearly everyone who was held hostage. That format made the story a little disjointed since the tone of each person’s narration varied and the same situation was told multiple times through the eyes of many hostages, but, this format gave an overall view of the situation that was excellent in portraying what really happened. The portion of the book that described the takeover of the Embassy was very intense. I was so proud of the resistance the Americans exerted against the aggressors, particularly since they were virtually left on their own and did not have any military backup.
In the very beginning of the book, I was torn by whether or not our country’s orders to those in the Embassy not to retaliate was a wise decision. Some of the hostages felt it wasn’t and that the Iranians could have been stopped had a few bullets whizzed above their heads. Still other hostages felt the Embassy was going to be taken regardless of any resistant measures, and that resisting would only aggravate the Iranians. What was profoundly disappointing were the actions of the Iranian police paid to protect the Embassy during the attack, who shook the hands of the insurgents and pointed out Americans attempting to escape. Shame on them. It was impossible for me not to take an emotional journey with the hostages while reading. I smiled as they passed notes to each other and stole a radio from their captors, I grimaced as the captors carried out mock executions, and I was saddened by the inhumane treatment the hostages were subjected to during the lengthy time they were held captive.
This is another book where I could go on and on about what happened. It was made particularly interesting because it provided such a personal view of the horror of the hostage crisis. For anyone interested in this situation, I would recommend reading this book.