"A quarter century ago, a group of Iranian students swept into the United States embassy in Tehran, overpowering the Americans there and taking them hostage. The crisis that ensued would define the Carter presidency and help give rise to the Reagan administration. It would begin as a rebellion against one brutal dictator and end with another in place. It was the turning point, the moment when radical Islam first rose up against America--the beginning of a clash that continues to define our times today. The author's narrative races from Washington to Tehran to Paris to Panama, tracking a dying Shah, a flailing Carter, an ascending Khomeini, the disastrous Desert One rescue attempt, and the lives of the Americans held in blindfolds amid a revolution like none other."