then they came for me

title: Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival

author: Maziar Bahari with Aimee Molloy

genre: Non-fiction, documentary style, political unrest

suggested by: Stephanie R.

dates read: Feb 12th – Feb 14th

review: 4.5 of 5 stars

summary: Maziar Bahari is a journalist for Newsweek and is in Iran, his home country, to report on the 2009 elections.  While he’s there the elections do not go as planned and the suspected rigging of votes causes protests and riots alike.  Bahari ends up getting arrested in the midst of these events and is held, interrogated, and tortured  for 118 days.  He describes the time leading up to his arrest, and his interrogation sessions with “Rosewater,” having to deal with the irrational logic of both Rosewater and those he answers to.

personal thoughts: Given the nature of the book I knew this would be a difficult read.  Injustice is always difficult to handle, but when there’s no justification for it, and it’s physically or emotionally harmful, it’s even worse.  To think that people in modern society are still be subjugated to this kind of treatment is infuriating.  Bahari talks about his initial fear of speaking out when he was first released, how he and his family were threatened, to keep him silent.  He eventually decided that he needed to expose the corruption and horror that were destroying his country and so started writing articles and doing interviews to share his own experiences and shed light on this ongoing problem.  I know how blessed I am to live where I do and have the freedoms that many others do not, and this is a shocking and eye-opening story that highlights that even more.

favorite quote:
“My father used to say that the most dangerous animal was the donkey, because of its stupidity and unpredictability.  ‘The only thing more dangerous then a donkey is a donkey with a grudge against you.'” p. 99, 100

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