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On Wings of Eagles

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  11,315 ratings  ·  536 reviews
The #1 International Bestseller now in trade paperback—with 16 pages of photos.Number-one bestselling author Ken Follett tells the inspiring, true story of the Middle East hostage crisis that began in 1979, and of the unconventional means Ross Perot used to save his countrymen.

Paperback, 384 pages
Published November 2017 by NAL (first published September 3rd 1984)
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Arlete Tury No, just a good book of my new favorite author.
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Jul 29, 2012 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
Oct 17, 2009 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
Dec 04, 2012 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
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In 1983 best-selling novelist Ken Follett set aside his usual spy fictions in favor of this non-fictional account of the rescue of two American businessmen who had been unfairly jailed in late 1978 without process of law in revolutionary Iran. The two men were employees of Dallas's EDS corporation, and company head Ross Perot wasn't having any of it. This is the story of how the two men got out of jail and were smuggled into Turkey before their return to the USA, and it's quite an interesting on ...more
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
Ashley Blanchette
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being from Dallas and raised during Ross Perot's run for the presidency, I was surprised I didn't know about his behind the scenes rescue mission of two EDS employees during the Iranian revolution. I enjoy Ken Follett, and hearing him speak recently about his friendship with Perot, made me run out and get this book. Written like a thriller, you cheer for the Texan who works his governmental connections, uses his personal money and ultimately puts a motley crew of men with true grit together to g ...more
Maria Carmo
This real account of Ross Perot's successful attempt at liberating two of his employees, arrested during the last days of the regime in Iran and the first days of Iranian revolution, is an incredible (and real) adventure which was turned into a movie in the 1980s, with Burt Lancaster playing "Bull" Simmons and an array of other great actors playing the parts of the real EDS employees who accepted to stay or go back to Iran to try and rescue their colleagues.
This is not the story of the later ho
Sheila Hansberger
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The true story of how Ross Perot organized a secret rescue team to get his captive employees out of Iran when the U.S. government couldn't be bothered. Good tension throughout, almost read like a novel. Some members of our book club felt the book could have been shortened. If it had been, I'm not sure all the facts would have been properly presented.
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. What an incredible story of beating the odds.
This story is based on the real-life events of EDS (an American company contracted to create a social-security type system in Iran) and Ross Perot's quest to help his EDS employees escape the hands of the acting Iranian government.
Though parts of this story drag a bit, it is an interesting cast of characters involved in this plot... it's also interesting to hear this tale of a bit of american history.
Jun 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ken Follett is one of my favorite authors. I was really mesmerized by the Kingsbridge saga and the Century trilogy that he has authored, not to mention his iconic debut novel The Eye of the Needle. So, I did have a lot of expectations about this work. On Wings of Eagles is a fictionalized account of real-life events that occurred in Teheran at the height of the Islamic revolution that unfolded in that country in 1979. It is not very easy to pull off a full-length novel on real life events. Folle ...more
Dec 20, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Linda McHardy
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
Mar 31, 2010 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.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a terrible story told very well
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than Argo. I'm never going to Iran.
Helia Jorge
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
impressive for being a real story
Apr 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Ken Follet experience and not that is a bad story but the book is just too long for its content, I feel that at least 100 pages should have been removed
Glen Stott
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
In December of 1978 two employees of EDS were arrested in Iran. EDS was a global data processing firm that was working with Iran to set up their banking system. This was Ross Perot’s firm headquartered in Texas. After trying all available official options and finding the Carter Whitehouse impotent to help, Perot decided to take matters into his own hands. He put together a team of specialists who, after several months and some good luck, managed to get them out without any injuries on either sid ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the book On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett; however, it was a very slow read for me. I usually don't read these types of books and I was easily distracted. That's not saying the story isn't good, it is. It's a true story and details how two people were sent to and held prisoner in Iran without any cause. It's about a group of loyal and trustworthy employees and the employer, Ross Perot, that helped in their escaped.

Besides the fact that I like Ken Follett's books, what captured my reaso
Oct 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“They said what they were going to do, then went out and did it.”

In the waning days of the Shah and the early days of the Ayatollah, the Iranian bureaucracy took two American business executives hostage. They were arrested and jailed without being charged with a crime, and offered bail at “a little under” thirteen million dollars. The owner of the company considered paying it, but it turns out to be very difficult to transfer thirteen million dollars into a country when (a) no one trusts the cou
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an absolutely crazy adventure this book documents! It's so strange to think that an American company with its charismatic leader was able to pull off a rescue as audacious and risky as Ross Perot did in this story. This book would make a great fiction thriller but it actually documents real events, complete with tons of luck (both good and bad), foibles, plot twists, and complex humans that you might never find in a thriller.
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Talk about a page turner. I can't believe this book escaped my attention for so long, especially since it was written by one of my very favorite authors, but it was worth the wait. Also, full disclosure, I am a Ross Perot fan. He is the only presidential candidate that I have ever voted for because I actually liked him and not because it was the lesser of two evils.
If you like spy thrillers, you will love this book.
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This started out quickly and then got a bit tedious for me but I wanted to finish it. That being said I gave it four stars because what a great story. Whether or not you appreciate his politics or not what he did was something to be honored.
Ruth Ann Maynard
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has been on my to-read list for quite some time. I was in college at the time of this happening. I remember parts of it but not to the existent that was brought out in the book. I had a girl that I worked with on campus that was married to someone from Iran. The last I knew that she had gone there to visit--just before the revolution. I never did know what happened to her. Her husband definitely had some different views about life.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a marvel.

A truely magnificent read. This is the 6th book that I have read of Kens and I am forever hooked by the intricate detail of his books. The hours of research that goes into these stories is astonishing. Can't wait to read my next book.
LeAnn Maupin
Feb 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book

I have enjoyed all Ken Follett books for hat on have read and I’ve read quite a few. Looking forward to the next one.
Tom Clark
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A true story that reads like an impossible adventure

What's not to like
Adventure tension one of the most exciting novels i have ever read
Well constructed and ritten
Joe Holman
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
I never knew this story. Bravery and determination. I have now seen Ross Perot in a totally new light. Amazing piece of history.
Daniel Kiernan
May 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Decent retelling by a great author of Ross Perot’s emergency evacuation of his employees from Iran in 1978-1979.
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: us-history
Read during the Covid19 stay at home time in May 2020 based on recommendations from others. I had a hard d time focusing and getting into it. Typically I read on business airplane flights. Those times are changing.
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Goodreads Librari...: Edition language ISBN 8701142321 3 10 Jan 24, 2017 09:50AM  
on the wings of eagles 2 19 Sep 10, 2015 12:01AM  

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Ken Follett is one of the world’s most successful authors. Over 170 million copies of the 36 books he has written have been sold in over 80 countries and in 33 languages.

Born on June 5th, 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector, Ken was educated at state schools and went on to graduate from University College, London, with an Honours degree in Philosophy – later to be made a Fellow of t

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