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All the Shah's Men Audiobook

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

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Audible Editor Reviews

With his fast-paced narrative and deep ferreting out of the facts, Kinzer reassembles the CIA's 1953 coup of Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran in favor of the bloodthirsty dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Shah, who is believed to have been a puppet for the US government.

If you like Robert Ludlum or John Le Carre, you'll delight in Kinzer's account of the return of the Shah to Iran. It's written and performed like a spy novel, with code names, secret meetings, and last-minute plot twists. Kinzer's a long-time, highly experienced New York Times foreign correspondent, so he's deft at crafting hard facts into compelling narrative.

Michael Prichard, a veteran narrator of everything from walking tours to military nonfiction, maintains a deliberate and steady pace. No shocking detail is overemphasized, and this contributes to the overall impact of the book.

What's most frightening is that in the middle of this listen you begin to see connections between the installation of the Shah in Iran and the events of 9/11. "Past is prologue" has rarely been as accurate as it is here.

Publisher's Summary

Half a century ago, the United States overthrew the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, whose "crime" was nationalizing the country's oil industry.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Paul 10-28-16
    Paul 10-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "The story of Mohammad Mosaddegh"

    Good coverage of Iran but not enough on the actual revolution. More of that should have been included.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jeana LeClerc 10-20-16
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    "Educational and highly entertaining"

    Wanting another perspective on the history of the Middle East and US involvement, I gave this book a listen. I found it thoroughly entertaining and enlightening. I am also deeply troubled and saddened. I mentioned to a friend, and former political diplomat for the US, that I was enjoying this historic perspective and was warned that Kinzer is a Russian sympathizer...and so the legacy of lies and propaganda continues.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I. Jenkins Philadelphia, PA 09-19-16
    I. Jenkins Philadelphia, PA 09-19-16 Member Since 2010

    I wish had more time to read but since I don't I listen to books on Audible! Lover of history.

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    "A Road Map through Iran"

    If you want to understand the U.S. relationship to Iran read this book! Amazing detail.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Will 08-15-16
    Will 08-15-16 Member Since 2017
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    "Great insights into Iran's 20th century history"

    This book makes it clear that we (the US) have often given up our principles for expediency. In the case of Iran, we have not just supported a dictator, we have actually destroyed a democracy to put our man in power. Our excuse: We were paranoid about the Soviet Union. When it comes to the Middle East, our foreign policy has been a disaster and it all started with Iran.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MikePhelps5 07-29-16
    MikePhelps5 07-29-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Brings current Iranian/Islamic attitudes about the US into focus"

    Great history of how the British and CIA led to the 1979 Revolution and ongoing friction with the US/Iran into clear focus. It somewhat downplays Ike's fears that if we didn't solidify the Shah's power the Soviets may invade Iran, which may have had cataclysmic consequences. This book is 95%about the deposing of Mosaddegh and 5% about the Shaw's atrocities. I thought, going in, it would be 50/50. Still, a great historical record of Mosaddegh's downfall.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Pinewood Carmen, San Diego 07-08-16
    J. Pinewood Carmen, San Diego 07-08-16 Member Since 2016

    Johnny

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    "Very approachable presentation and good story."

    This was a very good audiobook. Fascinating to hear how foreign intervention for oil has had impact 60 years later.

    Narrator was quite good. Only star lost was sometimes I could hear whistling breaths between sentences. Annoying at first but quickly absorbed by the content.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mrieke 06-10-16
    mrieke 06-10-16
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    "Every American should read this"

    This well-researched, well-written tells how the British convinced the American government to overthrow Iran's democratically elected government in 1953 to reclaim access to Iranian oil.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 05-30-16
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    "A Must Read For Everyone!"
    Where does All the Shah's Men rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the absolute BEST!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of All the Shah's Men?

    The absolute corruption that permeates every government, every country, no matter if they are the 'good guys' or the 'bad guys'.

    It was exciting and a bit depressing all at once.


    Any additional comments?

    So much great information. Some was surprising, some was new to me but I wasn't surprised (like how corrupt governments are).

    This book is ESSENTIAL if you want to begin to understand the conflicts in the Middle East and the whole 'Islam vs. Christianity' thing. Without taking any sides, this book provides so much insight into the entire situation, it at least allows you to begin to understand that both 'sides' of the fight have valid points.

    Not a solution to the world's problems, but definitely more information, intrigue and corruption than you even knew existed!

    If you think you know about terrorism in the 21st Century, stop sounding like an idiot when you chat with your friends and coworkers, and listen to this book. I guarantee you had no idea there was such a long history in this part of the world that directly affects what is going on today!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jennifer Hafen 03-19-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Great storytelling"

    Good background and detailed narrative. This is consistent with Kinzer's other books and reflects his ability as journalist.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul 03-12-16
    Paul 03-12-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Great review of history"
    Any additional comments?

    For anyone wanting to understand the current conflict in the middle east, you need to listen to this book. The facts are presented without bias. Make your own decision.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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