The Hostage Crisis By David Farber

1038 Words May 2nd, 2016 5 Pages
When a group of radical Islamic students stormed the U.S. embassy in Iran and took the Americans working there hostage during the fall of 1979, the nation reacted with shock and outrage that far outweighed the necessary emotion for the situation. As David Farber writes in his book Taken Hostage, “The Iranian imbroglio, in fact, affected the American people less directly than any of the others…it happened faraway, and caused little immediate pain to any but the hostages…Yet, as measured by public concern, emotional outpouring, and simple fascination, the Iran hostage crisis captivated the American people more than any other of the era’s difficulties (1).” Why were Americans so impassioned about the crisis if it didn’t really affect them? Arguably, the hostage crisis itself was not the cause of American outrage. The 1970s was a black-hole decade for citizens of the United States; they were faced with one disappointment after another and could not free themselves from the grip of the trials that plagued them. The backs of the American people were breaking under the weight of the Vietnam War, presidential scandal, and stagflation (among other things). The crisis was the straw that broke America’s back, so to speak, and released the frustrations of an entire nation. Its worst fear had come true—the American government had fallen so far that it could not even protect its own people. The Iranian hostage crisis was not a cause, but an effect, of a decade worth of deceit, failure,…

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