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Download A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Time to Betray: The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran Audiobook, by Reza Kahlili Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (393 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Reza Kahlili Narrator: Richard Allen Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2010 ISBN: 9781400187577
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A true story as exhilarating as a great spy thriller and as turbulent as today’s headlines from the Middle East, A Time to Betray reveals what no other previous CIA operative’s memoir possibly could: the inner workings of the notorious Revolutionary Guards of Iran, as witnessed by an Iranian man inside their ranks who spied for the American government. It is a human story, a chronicle of family and friendships torn apart by a terror-mongering regime, and how the adult choices of three childhood mates during the Islamic Republic yielded divisive and tragic fates. It is also the stunningly courageous account of one man’s decades-long commitment to lead a shocking double life informing on the beloved country of his birth, a place that once offered the promise of freedom and enlightenment—but instead ruled by murderous violence and spirit-crushing oppression.

Reza Kahlili grew up in Tehran surrounded by his close-knit family and two spirited boyhood friends. The Iran of his youth allowed Reza to think and act freely and even indulge a penchant for rebellious pranks in the face of the local mullahs. His political and personal freedoms flourished while he studied computer science at the University of Southern California in the 1970s. But his carefree time in America was cut short with the sudden death of his father, and Reza returned home to find a country on the cusp of change. The revolution of 1979 plunged Iran into a dark age of religious fundamentalism under the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Reza, clinging to the hope of a Persian Renaissance, joined the Revolutionary Guards, an elite force at the beck and call of the Ayatollah. But as Khomeini’s tyrannies unfolded, as his fellow countrymen turned on each other, and after the horror he witnessed inside Evin Prison, a shattered and disillusioned Reza returned to America to dangerously become “Wally,” a spy for the CIA.

In the wake of an Iranian election that sparked global outrage, at a time when Iran’s nuclear program holds the world’s anxious attention, the revelations inside A Time to Betray could not be more powerful or timely. Now resigned from his secretive life to reclaim precious time with his loved ones, Reza documents scenes from history with heart-wrenching clarity, as he supplies vital information from the Iran-Iraq War, the Marine barracks bombings in Beirut, the catastrophes of Pan Am Flight 103, the scandal of the Iran-Contra affair, and more … a chain of incredible events that culminates in a nation’s fight for freedom that continues to this very day.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yvonne | 2/18/2014

    " Autobiographical account of a Revolutionary Guard in Iran who spies for the CIA against the Islamic government. Most accounts I've read have been by victims of Iranian government, both under the shah and the mullahs; it is revealing to read about the experiences of a person working for the regime. A very courageous person who loves Iran. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michael | 2/15/2014

    " I rated this book so highly, not because of its literary qualities but because of its content. Rarely do we get to hear the story from the "other side" of the relationship between an intelligence service and its agent. Khalili's is a voice that deserves to be heard. The truths he shares about the people who today hold Iran and its creative, wonderful people in thrall should be required reading for all Americans. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wiley | 2/13/2014

    " AuthorsOnTheWeb Internet Marketing/Publicity Campaign "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalie | 2/11/2014

    " What a compelling story of man's inhumanity to man and of a very dangerous ideology! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsi | 2/10/2014

    " I don't know a lot about the history of this part of the world - but seems like a good time to start. I'm still completely perplexed by the idea that radical fundamentalists (of any kind) still can garner an audience anywhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathryn | 1/29/2014

    " What a powerful story! I found myself holding my breath during several chapters! So glad I put this book at the top of my to-read list after I heard an interview with the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judi | 1/14/2014

    " This was a book that was hard to put down. It was really suspenseful because at any time there was a possibility that Reza Kahlili might be caught by the state of Iran. I knew that life in Iran changed drastically after the fall of the Shah of Iran, but I did not know how the changes affected the ordinary lives of people, who began to live in fear even when innocent of wrongdoing. The Revolutionary Guards were hypocrites who enforced draconian rules upon others but were not always fervent themselves. This book chronicles a revolution gone awry. It is not especially well written, but the events were so dramatic that this is only a minor flaw. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lois Wolter | 1/13/2014

    " I think this is a must read book for everyone. Although it's a true story, it reads like a novel, but the story is chilling, particularly in light of current events. This book gives you a better understanding of the radical Muslims that have driven so much of the unrest in our world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Peter | 1/7/2014

    " Wow! Great story. Could not put this book down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jimmywheels | 12/20/2013

    " This fella risked an awful lot to help his homeland but, the Iran-contra deals were going on without him knowing which he was not to happy to learn about. Good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 BilieS | 4/7/2013

    " spy without balls "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim Wolfcale | 4/30/2012

    " Very intense book! Learned a lot and need to learn more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 9/1/2011

    " Fantastic book. Very good insight into how the revolution happened from the Iranian perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 8/25/2011

    " This is a really great way to access 40 years of Iranian history in an easy read. It's unclear how much of the book is based on truth, but you can fact-check and read further into the history on your own. Another person who is pretty brave to write this book if he is everything that he claims to be. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura!!!!!! | 5/13/2011

    " it was amazing but I wouldnt suggest for younger kids :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tim | 4/4/2011

    " Amazing if true. There are some doubters that believe Mr. Kahlili is a fake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alistayre | 2/17/2011

    " I like non-fiction "spy" books. When i saw this one on amazon i knew it couldn't be bad.
    It lived up to my expectations. The author describes his whole life from his youth to 2010.
    This book gave me insight into the dark side of iran's government. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rushay | 1/6/2011

    " i definitely enjoyed the read,a insiders view of "the revolution".Heart wrenching at times.Iran has a very long history and up til this present day the same issues prevail.I hope we see peace on this earth "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 9/12/2010

    " It was a thrilling book that detailed the life of how a spy for the U.S lives. It also was good to get an understanding of how many people view the U.S in a friendly and an unfriendly way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lindsi | 9/9/2010

    " I don't know a lot about the history of this part of the world - but seems like a good time to start. I'm still completely perplexed by the idea that radical fundamentalists (of any kind) still can garner an audience anywhere. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 8/31/2010

    " It's hard to believe the world puts up with Iran these days and I can't help wondering how long Iranians will. "

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About the Author

Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym to protect the author’s identity. He was born, raised, and married in Tehran and now lives in California.

About the Narrator

Richard Allen is an accomplished and respected theatrical actor whose work includes Ragtime and PBS’ Great Performances: Play On! His voice can be heard on numerous television and radio productions, as well as the animated series Jumanji. Allen is also the winner of seven AudioFile Earphones Awards.