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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (431 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maziar Bahari Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Now a major motion picture titled Rosewater, directed by Jon Stewart

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, 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 eighty-four-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 seventy 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I really connected to Maziar’s story. It’s a personal story but one with universal appeal about what it means to be free.”

    Jon Stewart

  • “A beautifully written account of life in Iran, filled with insights not only into the power struggles and political machinations but into the personal, emotional lives of the people living in that complicated country. Maziar Bahari is a brave man and a wonderful storyteller.”

    Fareed Zakaria, New York Times bestselling author

  • Then They Came for Me is the story of those who fight to inform and enlighten their society. Fortunately, Iran is not only a country of Ahmadinejads and mullahs; the country is also blessed with plenty of Maziar Baharis.”

    Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize

  • Then They Came for Me is not only a fascinating, human exploration into Bahari’s personal experience,…it also provides insight into the shared experience of those affected by repressive governments everywhere.”

    Mother Jones

  • “An important and elegant book…a prison memoir enlarged into a family history.”

    New Republic

  • “Turns a lens not only on Iran’s surreal justice system but on the history and culture that helped produce it…A damning account of a nation run by paranoid, sexually frustrated conspiracy theorists.”

    Washington Post

  • “A unique achievement. It is a story not just of political cruelty (a subject Bahari treats movingly) but also about the two poles of Iranian political culture, bent together in upheaval.”

    Guardian (London)

  • “An illuminating glimpse into the security apparatus of one of the world’s most repressive countries.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Haunting and unforgettable.”

    David Ignatius, author of Body of Lies

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Becky Hughes | 2/10/2014

    " Glad I picked this one. Maziar Bahari tells of his captivity and torture in 2009 in his homeland of Iran. I, like many Americans, hear sound bites about world news. This book helps set the scene, explain the background and gives some insight into what might happen next in Iran. His mother is my hero. Bless her for her courage and strength. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kathleen | 2/9/2014

    " An interesting history of current 20th century and current Iran is described by the author, an Iranian born man, currently a Canadian citizen, who is arrested while covering elections in Iran. Difficult to read at times (torture), it kept my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Meghan | 2/7/2014

    " This is an amazing book, both in the unbelievable story it tells, and the way that a clear understanding of Iran and its politic situation it portrays. Awesome and worth reading!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Leila | 2/4/2014

    " A story that makes you laugh, cry, livid, cry again, and ultimately sit back with a sigh of relief. A beautifully told depiction of what really happens behind the prison walls in Iran ... and it was just a glimpse, relative to just how often these same atrocities are happening. "

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About the Author
Author Maziar Bahari

Maziar Bahari is an award-winning journalist, documentary filmmaker, and human-rights activist. A correspondent for Newsweek from 1998 to 2010, he was born in Tehran and immigrated to Canada in 1988 to pursue his studies in film and political science. Bahari’s documentaries have been broadcast on stations around the world, including HBO, the BBC, and the Discovery Channel. In 2009 he was named a finalist for Spain’s Prince of Asturias Award for Concord, often described as Spain’s Nobel Peace Prize; he was nominated by Desmond Tutu. Bahari lives in London with his wife and daughter.