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On Wings of Eagles

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  7,177 Ratings  ·  366 Reviews
When two of his American employees were held hostage in Iran, H. Ross Perot and a select group of his employees took matters into their own hands.
ebook, 480 pages
Published September 3rd 1984 by Signet Book (first published September 28th 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 29, 2012 Judity rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is personal for me since I worked for Ross Perot's firm, EDS, in San Francisco during that time. I remember seeing the letters from co-workers in Iran posted on the computer room's bulletin board. I watched on TV the news about the escape of EDS people from Iran. How many bosses would help get employees out of danger like he did? This fantastic book will explain why Ross Perot became a hero to me.
Brent Soderstrum
Jan 30, 2016 Brent Soderstrum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Follett steps away from his fiction thrillers to tell the real life story of two EDS employees working in Iran who were arrested and held in an Iranian jail without being charged with anything in 1979 prior to the Iranian hostage situation. I knew nothing about this till reading the book.

I also gained a new found respect for Ross Perot, who was the owner of EDS and later became a presidential canidate. The only thing I knew about Ross Perot was that he was a short guy with big ears. I found out
Jan 13, 2013 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2013
This book is amazing. Really, you couldn't make this stuff up even if you wanted. I must thank one of my faculty members for "making" me read On Wings of Eagles. Ken Follett is one my favorite (well, maybe my favorite) authors, and I hadn't even known that this book existed until December 2012.

On Wings of Eagles is the 100% true story of the rescue operation that Ross Perot organizes after two of his EDS employees working in the Iran branch are jailed. This story takes place in 1978-79, not long
This is an awesome book. Three reasons: 1) Follett is an excellent story teller, 2)It's an "espionage/thriller," sort of, 3) it is TRUE!
You all know Ross Perot. Well he owns EDS (Electronic Digital Systems). In 1979 he had a bunch of his guys in Iran putting together a Social Security system for them AND a Medicare system for them. At one point...the Iranians stopped paying. After about 6 months they were owing around 4 billion $$. About this time the revolution broke out and there was some pol
Atilio Frasson
No es un desastre como "En el blanco" (el otro libro malo que leí de Follett), pero lo que tiene este es que es aburrido, lo único que tiene son las últimas cien páginas donde se vuelve entretenido, pero para eso primero hay que leer quinientas.

"Las alas de águila" es una historia real. Dos empresarios estadounidense son metidos en prisión sin motivos aparente. Entre todo esto, comienza una revolución contra el sah mientras Ross Perot, el multimillonario dueño de la empresa, comienza a buscar la
Remember the Iranian hostage crisis of '79? Well, in 1978--before things arrived at that disastrous point in Iran's revolution against the Shah--several Americans found themselves imprisoned (in actuality, kidnapped and held for ransom) by the Iranian government, only to be abandoned by the American Embassy while the country fell apart around them.

Now remember Ross Perot of the 90s presidential races? Well, the men kidnapped were senior executives of Perot's company EDS. Unwilling to leave his
Jun 26, 2016 Libby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: politicians, international travellers, historians
"On Wings of Eagles" is a heroic story about vastly different cultures during a religiously-motivated revolution, and how they directly impacted the lives of to two wrongly-imprisoned businessmen as well as their rescuers. The rescue effort would not have achieved fruition had it not been for the vision, funding, and ambition of Ross Perot, founder of Electronic Data Systems (EDS). He pulled together an extraordinary team and, with vast resources, would not accept failure as an option.

The first
Oct 16, 2014 Seth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-history, war
Ross Perot was one crazy Texan. I only vaguely remember him in the 1992 presidential debates talking with a high, nasally voice about balancing the budget, but I guess if you're crazy enough to run for president as an independent, you're crazy enough to organize a hostage rescue with employees from your data processing company in the middle of a frenzied, anti-American revolution in Iran. These guys had more guts than I'll ever have, and it worked (against all odds and an enormous human and lega ...more
Dec 16, 2012 Bethany rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books. The first time I read it at 13 or 14, I read it because I was reading everything Ken Follett had written. It's very different from anything else he had done, but the idea that this was a TRUE story kept me going. Also, the election in which Ross Perot ran for president had occurred recently, so the fact that he was in it made me curious.

I cut my teeth on the Tom Clancy novels, so I was already used to the in-depth discussions of the layout of buildings, breakdo
Jul 15, 2012 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The symbol of the eagle was something I remember from my childhood...on paperweights, small statues, you name it. Eagle=EDS. My dad worked for EDS for 30 years. And that's why I smiled when I finished this book, for it couldn't be more aptly titled. This true account of a "small" Iranian hostage crisis in the year before the one we all know better illuminates the spirit of EDS and the power of one man's money and drive put to good use. If more millionaires used their resources the way Ross Perot ...more
Jan 05, 2014 Marco rated it did not like it
Apparently even the greatest authors have a price. On Wings of Eagles is based on real events: 2 American businessmen are put in jail with non formalized bribery accusations in the middle of the Iran Khomeini's Iran revolution, and they managed to escape back home. The story is told as told to the author by the main characters, one of which, Perot, pretty much commissioned the book. As a result the book reads like a puff job, where Perot and his executives are hailed as heroes for actions that a ...more
Oct 29, 2015 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow is the first thing that comes to mind when trying to give a rating to On Wings of Eagles. Follett out does himself on every book and this one with an actual historic base and in the 1960’s takes place in Iran and Turkey during the fall of the Shah and rise of the Ayatollah.

The book has major items excitement, espionage, travel and constant change of plans. Interesting characters and a plot unbelievable but actually happened.

My suggestion read, enjoy and get a different idea of Ross Perot oth
James Burns
This is history I lived, 1977 I was a marine aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz CVN-68. The Iranians had disposed of the Shah and had been replaced with the Iyatola and his revolutionary Governmemt. President Carters Diplomatic policies were riddled with mistakes and very ineffective. Two of Ross Perots employees following the advise of the American Embassy were arrested without being charged with a 12 million dollar bail. After all Diplomatic and other means failed EDS (Ross Perots Co.) Decided on a Brea ...more
On The Wings Of Eagles did not seem as good as Ken Follett’s fictional works, but still is quite readable for a non-fiction narrative. Follett did an excellent job at describing H. Ross Perot (his motivations, life, and character) and how his loyalty to two of his employees imprisoned in Iran led to him using his connections to create a rescue team. The narrative was not overly dry or tedious, but various parts of the book failed to capture my interest and I ended up skim reading these sections. ...more
Based on a true story, it was interesting, but I found this too detailed and drawn out too long. At times it felt like a cross between a news report, textbook and novel. It was worthwhile reading, just not very exciting. And the pictures in the middle of the book, (that's where they showed up in the eversion I read, maybe did in paper?) totally gave away the ending halfway through. I,m sure some readers already know how it ends from being familiar with the news story of the time, but I didn't an ...more
Daniel Bratell
On Wings of Eagles is a non-fictional book about how the company EDS (Electronic Data Systems, founded and lead by Ross Perot) got caught up in the Iranian revolution of 1979. The hub of the story is how two high managers of EDS get arrested by the pre-revolution regime, possibly with a political or an economical motive and how Ross Perot strives to get them out of there.

The book is based on stories from the participants and is more a series of a events than a flowing narration. The events are a
Alumine Andrew

I've just been on holiday for Easter, this book of 600 odd pages seemed a good book to take away as a holiday read. Follett assures the reader in the introduction that this is not a fictionalized account of events, which makes it all the more surprising.

The events took place in 1979 during the Iranian revolution. EDS executives Paul Chiapparone and Bill Gaylord were wrongly imprisoned as the Shah fled the country and Ayhatolla Khomeini took over. In the midst of the revolution on the streets of
Apr 04, 2014 Guru rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Based on true events in Iran during the Islamic Revolution, "On Wings of Eagles" has a very interesting plot. In 1978, a bunch of American executives working for EDS realize that their project of computerizing Iran's social security data is going be thrown aside due to the political turmoil in the country. Ross Perot, the founder of EDS, is debating whether the EDS employees in Iran should evacuate the country or stay on. Meanwhile, two of the top EDS executives in Iran detained by a powerful bu ...more
Mar 31, 2010 Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Corporate derring do as the US government and US military are hamstrung by policy. Leave it to Ross Perot, middle-aged rescuers dedicated to saving wrongly imprisoned Americans, bags of money, tons of luck, all against the backdrop of Iran descending into mayhem and anarchy after the Shah was deposed. Oh, yeah, add that the team was headed up by legendary Special Forces operative "Bull" Simons, and you will know why this had to be made into a movie starring Burt Lancaster.
Sep 25, 2014 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was not fiction, but written in a way that was very readable. It is the story of two hostages taken in Iran in the late 70's, while Jimmy Carter was President. (These hostages preceded the large group taken when the Shah left and Khomeni rule began). The two men were employees of EDS, Electronic Data Systems, founded and run by Ross Perot out of Dallas, Texas. EDS had been contracted by Iran to set up a computerized system of Social Security and Medicare similar to the American systems ...more
Feb 15, 2014 fiacha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Penso que para a grande maioria este escritor dispensa apresentações e tive a possibilidade de ler este livro, graças aos colegas do meu emprego que me ofereceram no meu aniversário e sem duvida foi uma excelente prenda.

Apenas tinha lido Os Pilares da Terra, mais Romance Histórico e que gostei imenso. Não li mais nenhum livro do escritor pura e simplesmente porque acho que os seus livros são muito caros, lembro-me que na altura ambos os livros dos Pilares da Terra (que dividiram na sua
Jan 24, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grownup
The story was fascinating. I spent the entire time trying and failing to imagine middle managers I know going into a war zone to rescue their colleagues. I was on the edge of my seat hoping everyone got out OK and was eating up the details about a time and place I knew very little about. And I really liked Bull Simons and Rashid, who were vivid and fascinating characters.

Still, as good at the story was, the book was just a little too long and detailed for my taste. I wanted to know the story bu
Terry Cornell
Ken Follett is known for his works of fiction, but this real life story is equally fascinating and interesting. I think it deserves a three and a half star rating. If you enjoyed the movie 'Argo' about rescuing embassy employs from Iran during the end of 1979, this story is similar but different. Ross Perot's company EDS had a contract with the Iran government prior to the 1979 revolution to help set up their social security system. Two executive employees end up getting jailed in Iran in early ...more
Helia Jorge
Aug 18, 2015 Helia Jorge rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
impressive for being a real story
Feb 19, 2014 Mindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I was thinking that this is the worst book Mr. Follett has written but...after getting into it a ways I realized that he had to lay down the tedious ground work before getting to the nitty gritty. I had to read the last 20% non-stop and the last 5% was with tears literally streaming g down my face! Not because it's sad but because of the release of emotion. There are parts where you are holding your breath, others where you are thinking,"What in the hell do they think they are doing? Ar ...more
Lydia Ingram
Jan 20, 2015 Lydia Ingram rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW! I'm speechless. I knew the basic story but I had NO idea. I read the book because I wanted to know the details of Ross Perot's sanctioned EDS/Iranian prison rescue, and I got so much more than I bargained for. It's not just a good retelling of the stories of real people in harrowing circumstances, it's also a great book in all the ways that books can be good. If you like thrillers, you'll love this. If you like historical novels, you'll love this. If you love emotionally po ...more
Oct 21, 2016 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Não-ficção. Um relato verdadeiro (escrito sob forma de thriller, mas que não podia ser escrito de outro modo) pela mão de Follett. Imediatamente antes da saída do Xá do Irão, um funcionário graduado da polícia decide prender após um interrogatório 2 funcionários da EDS, multinacional americana encarregada de criar o sistema de Segurança Social no Irão. A fiança é de um valor exagerado, numa altura em que já não se consegue transferir tal soma para Teerão, sem garantia de que eles possam abandona ...more
Jun 22, 2014 Don rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend whose reading recommendations I implicitly trust gave this book such a high rating that I put it on my "to read" list well over a year ago. But, since I already knew the basic story, I kept avoiding it. Well, I finally decided to at least give it a chance and I'm awfully glad I did.

There are two reasons to read This: first of all, it's an absolutely amazing story that, without being overly sentimental, will remind you just how resilient human beings really are. Second, Follett is so ta
Apr 11, 2011 Roger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a true story - not fiction. It will shed a different light on Ross Perot. I worked at EDS for 13 years - and I met Paul Chiapparone, one of the EDS hostages caught in the middle of the Iranian Revolution.
Christian D.  Orr
After having read and heard so much about the horrific and depressing story about Desert One/Operation Eagle Claw, the failed attempt to rescue our hostages in Iran back in 1980, it was such a pleasant contrast to read a success story about rescuing Americans from Iran. Reading this book also gave me a newfound sense of respect for Ross Perot (my disagreement with some of his political stances during his 1992 and '96 presidential runs notwithstanding).

Some random stream-of-consciousness notes I
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on the wings of eagles 3 17 Sep 10, 2015 12:01AM  
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Ken Follett burst onto the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar award and became an outstanding film.

He went on to write four more bestselling thrillers: Triple; The Key to Rebecca; The Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of ho
More about Ken Follett...

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