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AASU Professor Publishes Book About His Experience as an Iranian Hostage

Savannah, GA- A new book, "In the Shadow of the Ayatollah a CIA Hostage in Iran," by William J. Daugherty, professor of government and foreign policy at Armstrong Atlantic State University, will be published in October 2001.

The dramatic film footage of U.S. embassy personnel in Tehran taken hostage by Islamic militants in 1979 remains a haunting memory for Americans who watched the crisis unfold on television. But far removed from the news cameras, an even more harrowing series of events took place that involved Daugherty. He was specially targeted by his captors once they learned he was an officer in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Enduring extraordinarily harsh treatment, he managed to survive the 444-day ordeal by relying on his training as a Marine and his experience in combat. Ultimately he was awarded the State Department Medal of Valor and the CIA Exceptional Service Medal.

In addition to his own firsthand knowledge of events, Daugherty draws on intelligence information not available to previous writers, recently declassified materials, and interviews with key government officials to shed light on what happened and why. Among the book’s many revelations are details of the decision-making process in the White House during the crisis and the involvement of the former Soviet Union. To help the reader fully understand the situation, Daugherty also takes a serious look at U.S.-Iran relations over the past fifty years. Daugherty’s account of this pivotal event in U.S. diplomatic history is impressively objective and, considering the still volatile situation in the Middle East, it invites careful analysis.

William J. Daugherty was born in Oklahoma and educated at Oklahoma Military Academy, the University of California-Irvine, and the Claremont Graduate School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and a Ph.D. in government.

Daugherty served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including a combat tour in Vietnam. Following his military service, he joined the Central Intelligence Agency where for seventeen years he served as an operations officer specializing in Middle East affairs and counterterrorism. Prior to retirement he held assignments in the area of resources management and served as liaison officer to the National Security Council staff for covert action policy. Since 1996 he has taught American government and foreign policy at Armstrong Atlantic.

Here is what some notable readers have said about the book:

"An illuminating account of the various aspects of the U.S.-Iranian relationship, including its intelligence component, from World War II to the end of the hostage crisis." _ Jeffrey T. Richelson, author of The Wizards of Langley: Inside the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology

"A fascinating account that relates incisively the intense policy debates within the White House to the dramatic personal experiences of the embassy captives in Techran."_ Zbigniew Brzezinski, national security adviser to President Carter

"How can I most effectively resist my captors without being self-destructive? This seminal question was answered by Stockdale in Hanoi, taught by Hegdahl in survival school, and practiced by Daugherty in Tehran. Once a master of resistance, Daugherty has become a master storyteller, and his book rings true."_ Capt. Richard A. Stratton, USN (RET.), POW in Hanoi and State Department adviser during Iranian hostage crisis

"Hostage accounts are regrettably not unusual in today’s world. But this one by Bill Daugherty, describing his 444 days as a ‘guest of Iranian militants,’ is unique. Few have been so readable and none more perceptive in putting the hostage crisis in the longer history of a troubled U.S.-Iranian relationship_ one that tragically continues in that fashion to this day. This is a book not easily put aside."_ Bruce Laingen, The American Academy of Diplomacy


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