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On Wings of Eagles

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  10,521 ratings  ·  505 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 29th 1983)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  10,521 ratings  ·  505 reviews

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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
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
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 ...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
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.
Rajmr64 Rajeev
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. ...more
Dec 20, 2013 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 ...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.
Apr 11, 2011 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.
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
Mar 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Better than Argo. I'm never going to Iran.
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
a terrible story told very well
Glen Stott
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, history
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 ...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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Rose Arend
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’ll be clear up front—this what I’d call a hump book. In other words, it may take half of the book to really get into it, but once you’re beyond that hump, the ride down is well worth the trek.

When I was searching for a nonfiction book to read, this was the highest recommendation I received. I was told about Ken Follet’s narrative style and I decided to give it a chance. Since I don’t usually read this kind of nonfiction, I found myself pushing to get to the next chapter. It was more difficult
Elizabeth Arend
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On Wings of Eagles is the true story of an epic rescue lead by Electronic Data Systems (EDS) Corporation's executive Ross Perot, as he sends a selective group of his own employees into Iran to break two of his coworkers, Paul Chiapparone and Bill Gaylord, out of an Iranian prison for crimes which they did not commit against that country’s government. It is retold by author Ken Fallot, a novelist known for his action-driven style of writing, and it shows as he brings this already amazing story to ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On wings of Eagles

Wow! I don't remember the details regarding the change in regime from the late 1970's , but this book is So descriptive. It provides a tense commentary on this historical event. Never considered Ross Perot a hero before, but definitely have much more respect for him for his loyalty to his employees. Excellent writing style!
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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 165 million copies of the 31 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
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“Perot's father did not know what civil rights were: this was how you treated other human beings.” 0 likes
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