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The true, declassified account of CIA operative Tony Mendez's daring rescue of American hostages from Iran that inspired the critically-acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, and co-starring John Goodman, Alan Arkin, and Bryan Cranston. On November 4, 1979, Iranian militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran and captured dozens of American hostages, sparking a 444-day ordeal and a quake in global politics still reverberating today. But there is a little-known drama connected to the crisis: six Americans escaped. And a top-level CIA officer named Antonio Mendez devised an ingenious yet incredibly risky plan to rescue them before they were detected. Disguising himself as a Hollywood producer, and supported by a cast of expert forgers, deep cover CIA operatives, foreign agents, and Hollywood special effects artists, Mendez traveled to Tehran under the guise of scouting locations for a fake science fiction film called Argo. While pretending to find the perfect film backdrops, Mendez and a colleague succeeded in contacting the escapees, and smuggling them out of Iran. Antonio Mendez finally details the extraordinarily complex and dangerous operation he led more than three decades ago. A riveting story of secret identities and international intrigue, Argo is the gripping account of the history-making collusion between Hollywood and high-stakes espionage.
Argo by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio - the declassified CIA story behind the Oscar-winning film WINNER OF 'BEST PICTURE' AT THE ACADEMY AWARDS, THE BAFTAS AND THE GOLDEN GLOBES Tehran, November 1979. Militant students stormed the American embassy and held sixty Americans captive for a gruelling 444 days. But until now the CIA has never revealed the twist to the Iran Hostage Crisis: six Americans escaped. The escape plot was run by Antonio Mendez, head of the CIA's extraction team and a master of disguise. Mendez came up with an idea so daring and potentially foolish that it seemed destined for Hollywood. . . and indeed it was. He invented a fake sci-fi film called 'Argo' (from the actual name of the CIA mission, a reference to Jason and the Argonauts). After announcing the production to the movie industry, Mendez put together a team of real 1970s Hollywood actors, directors and producers - along with covert CIA officers. They would travel to revolutionary Iran under a foreign film visa, and while 'scouting locations' throughout the country they would track down the six Americans who were hiding out. After giving them false identities as part of the film crew, they would spirit them back across the border. One part 'Ocean's 11' and another part 'Black Hawk Down', Mendez's mind-bogglingly complicated and risky gamble paid off: each escapee was extracted without a shot being fired. Mendez is considered one of the greatest officers in CIA history. The story of this, his greatest mission, has never been told. Now an acclaimed film directed by and starring Ben Affleck, with Bryan Cranston, Alan Arkin and John Goodman' Antonio Mendez was cited by Richard Clarke as one of the top two or three CIA agents in history. His He received the Intelligence Star for his rescue of six Americans from revolutionary Iran, and has received the CIA's Intelligence Medal of Merit and the Trailblazer Medallion. He continues to consult for the CIA. He and his wife, also a famed agent, were technical consultants on the television series 'The Agency' and founding board members of the International Spy Museum in Washington. Matt Baglio is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Rite: The Making of a Modern Exorcist. His writing appears regularly in the Daily Mail and the Associated Press.
For the first time, the CIA has authorized a top-level operative to tell all in an unforgettable behind-the-scenes look at espionage in action. an undisputed genius who could create an entirely new identity for anybody, anywhere, anytime, Antonio J. Mendez combined the cunning tricks of a magician with the analytical insight of a psychologist to help hundreds of people escape potentially fatal situations. From "Wild West" adventures in East Asia to Cold War intrigue in Moscow and helping six Americans escape revolutionary Tehran in 1980, Mendez was on the scene. Here he gives us a privileged look at what really happens in the field and behind closed doors at the highest levels of international espionage, some of it shocking, frightening, and wildly inventive--all of it unforgettable.
Moscow, 1988. It is the twilight of the Cold War, and the KGB is at its most ruthless. In the last three years, ten CIA operatives have been executed or neutralized. Langley has no idea how the KGB seems to be able to predict the CIA's every move, but some believe they are using an invisible electromagnetic powder that allows them to keep tabs on anyone who touches it: spy dust. Enter CIA officers Tony Mendez and Jonna Goeser, who come together to head up a team of technical wizards and operational specialists, determined to solve the mystery that threatens to bring down the curtain on the Cold War's final act. Beginning in Indochina and culminating in a breathtakingly daring operation in the heart of the Kremlin itself, Spy Dust reveals more about U.S. intelligence techniques abroad than any previously published work of nonfiction, and is a riveting account of spycraft, courage, loyalty, and love.
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