Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Argo by Antonio Mendez

Posted by Caitie F on January 16, 2013

Title: Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History
Author: Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio13588425
Hardcover: 320 pages
Pub Date: Sept 13, 2012
Publisher Viking Adult
Rating: ++++

Summary from goodreads:

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.


I saw the movie of Argo right after it came out and loved it. The acting, director, and story were all incredible. But like many people, I wondered what was true and what was made more suspenseful for the movie.

Turns out a lot was made more suspenseful. Not to say the actual plan wasn’t dangerous and perilous because it was. There just wasn’t any running after an airplane, or close calls outside of the ambassador’s house. They did a really great job of making an amazing story into an equally amazing movie.

I was blown away with just how much the CIA has to do for one possible mission. The amount of work and detail is incredible. That so many people keep things a secret seems just as mind-blowing. Reading about what they do is an eye-opening experience and I recommend it to everyone.

It is another really easy to read for a nonfiction book and shows the inner workings of being a spy. Here is a hint: it is nothing like most movies show it. It isn’t glamourous, it is hard work and thinking on your feet.

If you loved the movie then you need to read this book. It shows how much others helped Americans and the small acts of bravery done by regular people at the State Department and in the CIA. Tony Mendez is a brilliant man and reading his story was really fun and informative.


2 Responses to “Argo by Antonio Mendez”

  1. I did love the movie and didn’t realize there was a book until a few days ago. It sounds like I need to get it!

  2. Jenny said

    I loved the movie too but wasn’t sure if reading the book would be worth it so thanks for this review! I definitely think it sounds like a great read… and good to know all that crazy suspenseful stuff from the movie wasn’t quite true. I wondered when I was watching because it seemed to convenient.

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