Title: 90 Minutes at Entebbe:
The Full Inside Story of the Spectacular Israeli Counterterrorism Strike and Daring Rescue of 103 Hostages
Author: William Stevenson
Genre: History
Pages: 240
Rating: 3 of 5

This book recounts the amazing feat of counter-terrorism in which Israeli special forces secretly flew into Uganda and rescued Jewish hostages who had been on a plane hijacked by German and Palestinian terrorists (aided and abetted by the mad dictator Idi Amin). However, for a book with “Full Inside Story” in its subtitle, this account was disappointingly sparse on details at some points. The description of the “90 minutes” of the actual raid takes up maybe 20 pages out of 240 and is the least detailed section of the book.

Most of the book covers (in a somewhat jumbled manner) the background of the terrorists; the treatment and conditions of the hostages; very generalized descriptions of the diplomatic & political maneuvering, intelligence gathering, military planning, etc. leading up to the raid; and the diplomatic fallout after the raid (including a partial transcript of a debate in the UN security council). All of this is accompanied by a fair amount of finger-wagging at the rest of the world for not doing more about international terrorism and leaving Israel to go it alone (even though there are numerous mentions of the US, France, and Britain providing Israel with intelligence).

Overall, the Entebbe raid is an amazing chapter in history and I am glad to have learned more about it, but I was underwhelmed by this author’s presentation of it.

2 thoughts on “Rescue!

  1. Ah it’s a shame this was disappointing- I’ve heard this recounted before and it’s a pretty phenomenal story in and of itself. I definitely agree that this is an amazing chapter in history, shame this wasn’t as well executed as it could have been.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that the author was somewhat hampered by a lot of the information still being classified, and the writing definitely suffered by his “poor Israel having to go it alone” speechifying throughout…especially since he undercut his point by also saying that Israel intentionally (and probably wisely) limited the knowledge and participation of other countries so as to avoid security leaks.


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