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All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror Paperback – Jan 1 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; Second Edition edition (Jan. 1 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047018549X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470185490
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 1.9 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 386 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

"A very gripping read . . . a cautionary tale for our current leaders."
The New York Times

As zealots in Washington intensify their preparations for an American attack on Iran, the story of the CIA's 1953 coup—with its many cautionary lessons—is more urgently relevant than ever. All the Shah's Men brings to life the cloak-and-dagger operation that deposed the only democratic regime Iran ever had. The coup ushered in a quarter-century of repressive rule under the Shah, stimulated the rise of Muslim fundamentalism and anti-Americanism throughout the Middle East, and exposed the folly of using violence to try to reshape Iran. Selected as one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and the Economist, it's essential reading if you want to place the American attack of Iraq in context—and prepare for what comes next.

"An entirely engrossing, often riveting, nearly Homeric tale. . . . For anyone with more than a passing interest in how the United States got into such a pickle in the Middle East, All the Shah's Men is as good as Grisham."
The Washington Post Book World

"An exciting narrative. [Kinzer] questions whether Americans are well served by interventions for regime change abroad, and he reminds us of the long history of Iranian resistance to great power interventions, as well as the unanticipated consequences of intervention."
The Los Angeles Times

"A swashbuckling yarn [and] helpful reminder of an oft-neglected piece of Middle Eastern history."
The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has worked in more than fifty countries. He has been New York Times bureau chief in Istanbul, Berlin, and Managua, Nicaragua. His books include Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds.

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Customer Reviews

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Format: Paperback
It is widely accepted by experts on the issue, that the success of the coup changed the course of Iranian history; especially Iranian people’s perception of the West. Some scholars, including Stephen Kinzer, have even suggested that the removal of Prime Minister Mossadegh paved the way for the eventual Iranian Revolution of 1979. Through the several arguments he raises and different turns his book takes, Kinzer attempts to use the overthrowing of Mossadegh as a historical event with much wider significance than a mere regime change. Kinzer goes as far to present the hardship of Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism as the result of the legacy of “Operation Ajax” and the coup of Mossadegh. He even states that “it is not far-fetched 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”. While it can be established that the coup in Iran is not the sole cause of all Islamic terror, nonetheless, the deep historical and political elements of the important and often ignored events of 1953 now help scholars make better assumptions and conclusions on Iran’s much troubled relationship with the West and the United States in particular. Moreover, studies of the 1953 coup give students of espionage and intelligence a chance to examine an example of Western intelligence that was able to change the course of a country in just a few years. “Operation Ajax” and the joint US-British intelligence work done in Iran would change Iranian history forever.
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By Brian Griffith TOP 500 REVIEWER on Feb. 18 2013
Format: Paperback
Kinzer explores the sentiments and values of all parties concerned in the tragic destruction of Iran's first democratic government. Towards the nationalist hero Mossadegh, Kinzer shows the various sides of the man's idealism, which inspired his followers, demonized his opponents, and made compromise next to impossible. Toward the Americans, Kinzer depicts the turning of American foreign policy -- from supporting the aspirations of nationalists against colonialism, to regarding all rebels against the Western powers as stooges of the communist enemy. Quite naturally, Kinzer draws implications from the story, mainly that foreign intervention to depose elected governments has long-term consequences. I feel it is a well-researched, deeply empathetic book. Writing like this can help us see the roots of bias, and maybe overcome disrespect.
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Format: Paperback
A great book, one that everyone with even the slightest interest in geopolitics should read. Since the war drums are beating up again for another round of exporting democracy down the barrel of the gun, it might help for policymakers to understand the problems in the Middle East. This book stays interesting and brings the reader up to date on the Iranian situation, and just why the West doesn't have the best image there.
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Format: Paperback
Stephen Kinzer does a great job doing this book. Without going in too much details he tells the story. The reason behind the animosity the Persians have towards GB and United States meddling in the middle east. He explain details that matter without boring the readers. I have read this book twice and know it's been translated into a few other languages as well. two thumbs up
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