At Your Own Risk: An American Chronicle of Crisis and Captivity in the Middle East

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In 1983 Tom Sutherland, a professor at Colorado State University, accepted the position of Dean of Faculty of Agriculture and Food Science at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. Two years later, on June 9, 1985, he was kidnapped by gunmen from the Islamic Jihad. That day would be the first of 2,354 - nearly six and a half years of captivity - the second longest period of any western hostage in Lebanon. At Your Own Risk is the passionate chronicle of Tom and his wife Jean's remarkable experience in Lebanon before, during, and after the hostage years. Tom's story of captivity alternates with Jean's, who stayed in Beirut teaching and working for Tom's release. Their voices are interwoven throughout the book, providing a riveting look at a time and place in history that even today few Americans understand. The story of their extraordinary return to Lebanon after Tom's release reaffirms their commitment to and hope for a resolution of the ongoing conflict between Islam and the western world.

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AT YOUR OWN RISK: The Chronicle of an American Encounter with the Middle East, 1983-1993

User Review  - Kirkus

The unremarkable record of a college dean's six-and-a-half years as a hostage of the Islamic Jihad in Beirut. Husband and wife Tom and Jean Sutherland, he the dean of agriculture and she an English ... Read full review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

From 1984 to 1991, the Islamic Jihad held hostages in Lebanon, and most of the survivors have written books about their ordeal. Although their experiences were the same, their accounts differ in their ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Tom Sutherland is professor emeritus at Colorado State University and a professional speaker with the Washington Speakers Bureau. Jean Sutherland, currently on leave as a professor of English, has resumed her research and writing in the field of Renaissance literature.

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