Still vivid in many Americans' memories are the 444 days of 1979 when Islamic militants held U.S. diplomatic personnel hostage in Iran. Though their story has been told before, never has it been related from such a perspective. Unique among the hostages, the author was an officer for the Central Intelligence Agency serving at the U.S. embassy in Tehran. Once his CIA connection was discovered, Bill Daugherty became a special target of his captors and was subjected to extraordinarily harsh treatment. He managed to survive the ordeal by relying upon his Marine Corps training and combat experience and his remarkable inner reserve of fortitude. Ultimately he was awarded the State Department Medal of Valor and the CIA Exceptional Service Medal. Drawing on intelligence information not readily available to previous writers, recently declassified materials, interviews with such key government officials as former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski and former CIA director and ambassador to Iran Richard Helms, and to his own firsthand knowledge, Daugherty sheds light on this disturbing event, particularly with respect to the decision-making process in the White House. Among his revelations is the involvement of the Soviet Union. Despite his personal involvement, Daugherty has produced an impressively objective account of the tragedies and triumphs that marked this black time in U.S. history. It is both a harrowing adventure story and a serious look at U.S.-Iran relations. The pivotal event continues to evoke emotions and begs careful analysis for potential lessons learned.