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Publisher's Summary

An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late shah's widow, Empress Farah.

In this remarkably human portrait of one of the 20th century's most complicated personalities, author Andrew Scott Cooper traces Mohammad Reza Pahlavi's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He highlights the turbulence of the postwar era, during which the shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers. Listeners get the story of the shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right; the story of the beloved family they created; and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution.

Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; and even Empress Farah herself, along with the rest of the Iranian imperial family.

At once intimate and sweeping, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

©2016 Andrew Scott Cooper (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent account of a pivotal and sad time

This book is an excellent account of a pivotal and sad time. The Iranian Devolution was the first international crisis I was old enough to fully grasp, and in addition to the scope of Carter's complete ineptitude this work shined a great light on how both the Shah has been mischaracterized by leftist historical revisionists but also how radical Islamists (is that so hard to say, dems?) manipulate the masses to meet their own diabolical aims. This is just as pertinent now as it was in 1979, since the current POTUS obviously hasn't learned from relatively recent history.......

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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I learned so much, but will have to reread

At first I was skeptical because it seemed so solidly pro-Shah. Later in the book, I became convinced, not that he was perfect, but that he did many good things and wanted to do so much more. I am convinced that his overthrow was a terrible thing for Iran, the US and the world. I say this in spite of the fact that I am an American who believes strongly in democracy.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • MM
  • 09-26-16

History relived, good account of what happened.

I felt this was a reasonably good account of what historically happened. Overall a good book. But, the imitation of people's accent by the narrator was over the top and distracting. I would have much preferred it if it was read normally without the accent imitations.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • V
  • 09-14-16

Good book

This book might be a little long, maybe because this period is a bit of new land to me. That being said, it is written well and the reader has a pleasant voice. I should have taken more time to listen too

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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The fall of Heaven

Great book! I am Iranian and have lived through the nasty revolution while I was child. This book gave me closer perspective of everything was going on before revolution and the reality of Khomeini. The reader's pronunciation of Iranians names is awful!

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Very interesting though probably quite biased.

I'm waiting for my Iranian co-worker to finish the book and discuss before assigning a degree of confidence regarding the overall assessment of the major characters. Other than that it was a very interesting account of a history most of us know of, but about which I don't know much.

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Poignant beyond description.

Illuminating, fascinating, enlightening. Immeasurably poignant and heart-rending. These events altered the course of world history.

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  • John
  • Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 02-18-17

Long on quotes, short on narrative

This book was informative but cumbersome due to the minutiae of quotes, asides, and dialogue.

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Very interesting; recommended

A very interesting insight into what occurred in Iran after the coups d'etat in 53'. Although the focus is on the Pahlavi dynasty, the author does not shy away from pointing out shortcomings of the crown and ill-decision making premised on wishful thinking.

Recommended for those interested in a nation/people we know so little about, yet for whom the West holds a strong, negative opinion. For those that want to understand how yesterday's decisions (or lack therein) shaped the world today.