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Publisher's Summary

When Maziar Bahari left London in June 2009 to cover Iran's presidential election, he assured his pregnant fiancée, Paola, that he'd be back in just a few days, a week at most. Little did he know, as he kissed her good-bye, that he would spend the next three months in Iran’s most notorious prison, enduring brutal interrogation sessions at the hands of a man he knew only by his smell: Rosewater.
For the Bahari family, wars, coups, and revolutions are not distant concepts but intimate realities they have suffered for generations: Maziar's father was imprisoned by the shah in the 1950s, and his sister by Ayatollah Khomeini in the 1980s. Alone in his cell at Evin Prison, fearing the worst, Maziar draws strength from his memories of the courage of his father and sister in the face of torture, and hears their voices speaking to him across the years. He dreams of being with Paola in London, and imagines all that she and his rambunctious, resilient 84-year-old mother must be doing to campaign for his release. During the worst of his encounters with Rosewater, he silently repeats the names of his loved ones, calling on their strength and love to protect him and praying he will be released in time for the birth of his first child.
A riveting, heart-wrenching memoir, Then They Came for Me offers insight into the past 50 years of regime change in Iran, as well as the future of a country where the democratic impulses of the youth continually clash with a government that becomes more totalitarian with each passing day. An intimate and fascinating account of contemporary Iran, it is also the moving and wonderfully written story of one family's extraordinary courage in the face of repression.
©2011 Maziar Bahari (P)2011 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"This book is haunting and unforgettable." (David Ignatius, author of Body of Lies)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Russell on 03-04-15

Powerful Indictment of a Corrupt Theocracy

The people who were tortured under the Shah's regime become the torturers in this tale about a journalist who is arrested as a spy by a government that cheated at the ballot box. Those who don't play by civilized rules are given their legitimacy through a spiritual supreme leader, Ali Khamenei and they use this religiosity to justify lies and the brutalizing of innocent Iranians.

A few of the idealistic revolutionarys of 1979 now realize that they never sufficiently worked out what type of government would follow and this one sounds worse than the one they overthrew.

Maziar Bahari stands up to the threats to his family inside and outside Iran and to his person either by kidnapping or assassination by daring to tell a story about a ruthless regime. It is remarkable that he argues for a peaceful overthrow of a government that murders and uses rape as a tool to control a population that was angry that their votes were ignored. I hope he is right.

Oh .. and Rosewater is an asshole.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By loix on 06-24-11

Book that would've shined but for the narration

I had encountered the same narrator before, on Emperor of All Maladies, and barely made it through it because of the narration (something about the intonation), so I knew what I was getting into. I would not have spent another credit on a book by the same narrator. But I had been counting the days until the publication of this particular story, and decided to take a chance. The narration was as flat as on my previous purchase, but the story was there to pull me through. I was most of all impressed by the author's imagination and sense of humor--I'd never expected to be howling w/ laughter listening to what was the retelling of a horrific ordeal, but there I was, rolling on the floor at times. This is a story well worth telling, and but for the narration, one of the best.

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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