Jimmy Carter: 444 Days Of Agony

Keeping Faith: Part II

It was, writes Jimmy Carter, "the beginning of the most difficult period of my life." He was referring to the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran by Iranian militants who took scores of Americans hostage. The date was Nov. 4, 1979, and for the next 444 days, "I listened to every proposal"for freeing the hostages, "no matter how preposterous, including dropping an atomic bomb on Tehran."

The hostage crisis is the centerpiece of TIME'S concluding excerpt from Keeping Faith, Carter's account of his four years as President. Carter describes the high expectations and dashed...

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