In a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, Kinzer reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, Kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power. Reza imposed a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under its protection.
"It is not far-fetched," Kinzer asserts, "to draw a line from Operation Ajax through the Shah's repressive regime and the Islamic Revolution to the fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center in New York."
©2003 Stephen Kinzer; (P)2003 Tantor Media, Inc.
"Breezy storytelling and diligent research....This stands as a textbook lesson in how not to conduct foreign policy." (Publisher's Weekly)
"With a keen journalistic eye, and with a novelist's pen....a very gripping read." (The New York Times)
"Kinzer's brilliant reconstruction of the Iranian coup is made even more fascinating by the fact that it is true. It is as gripping as a thriller, and also tells much about why the United States is involved today in places like Afgahanistan and Iraq." (Gore Vidal)
I was 5 to 7 years old, a British Citizen of Indian origin and living in Meshed, a city in North Eastern Iran, at the time of the Coup and I remember witnessing the street scenes while hiding behind partially open front door of our house. The descriptions by Mr. Kinzer of the riots and the rioters and how the same rioters changed there slogans from one day to the third or the fourth day are so accurate. Reading this book brought back bitter-sweet memories of my childhood days in the Iran of the Mosadeq-Shah Era. The Shah was a pragmatist progressive and overall stood for a better IRAN. It is sad how both luminary lives ended. I feel so sad for Queen Farah Diba the surviving wife of the Shah Mohamed Reza Shah Pahlavi. He was a great friend of the world.
Having seen the influence of Colonial British in Pakistan (then India), this book brought sickening naustalgia. It is very ineresting to see how we as humans with power, make things that are none of our business, our business. And then when things go wrong, we blame everyone else but ourselves. A must read for everyone interested in longterm ramifications of un welcome intrusions into sovereignty of other countries.
excellent listen, chapter 2 provides an excellent history of the shia faith. the first few chapters of the book provide an excellent history of Iran, and the author does a fantastic job of weaving the history of iran with the formation of the anglo-persian oil company, the rise and fall of mohammed mossadegh, and the islamic revolution of 1979.
Great documentary, and a must hear/read for all those interested in understanding the US/Iran relationship. The US hostage crisis was always a puzzle for me until I read this book. It also gives an great insight into the history of Iran. Excellent narration.
This book was incredibly researched and detailed, yet engaging and accessable. While the book is sympathetic towards the plight of the Iranian people and the nationalist/Anit-colonial movement, the views of the multiple factions involved are reported fairly. If this book has a "hero," it is MohammAd Mossadegh. Yet, for all his passion and vision, he is portrayed as a real human being with flaws, not a near-mythical giant-slaying figure. A MUST for anyone concerned with current events.
THis was an absolutely great book on Iran/American history. After reading this book it is clear why IRAN dislikes us. It is not hard to understand why we bacame the target of extremeists by other middle east countries given our involvement in Iran int he 1950's. I never thought that just 50 years ago the American govt would lead a covert operation to overthrow a democracy and instal a represive monarchy. But that is exactly what happened. Now I am going to go read Charlie Wilson's War to find out how we armed these people we pissed off.
I had no idea. I thought I did, but I was wrong. Very well written. Well read. I will be listening again.
"All the Shah's Men" shines a bright light on one of the darker epochs of world history. Here is a story of greed, botched colonial adventurism, a misguided coup, and a neo-colonial puppet show that arguably ushered in the age of terrorism that we're living in today. Well-researched and well-written, the book actually made me rather embarrassed by my ignorance of the region, period, and characters. I'm very glad to have had the opportunity to listen to this first-rate book.
Kinzer does a very good job describing the overthrow of the Shah in the 1950s. The actions that are described make one want to scream do the right thing for the long haul, not some immediate battle victory with long-term negative consequences. Doing the right thing does not have to be juxtaposed to a "reality" and a focus on consequences that are perceived on a short-term vision paradigm.
Excellent work performed with complete integrity and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts surrounding the beloved Iranian nationalist M. Musadiq's rise and fall, much to the detriment of the United States foreign policy in the Middle East.
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