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Shah of Shahs Paperback – Feb 4 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (Feb. 4 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679738010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679738015
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 13 x 1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 159 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #11,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. K. Hadad on Dec 3 2004
Format: Paperback
An outstanding first-hand account of the events and causes of the Iranian revolution. I lived through those days and the vivid nature of this book brings those days alive. Most people will judge this book in accordance to their political opinion of the revolution and its aftermath, but, leaving that aside, the book is an excellent account of the snowballing events that took place.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alistair Spooner on Nov. 4 2003
Format: Paperback
Ryszard's book 'The Shah of Shahs' tells me far more about the country during that turbulent time than drier history books or opiniated polemics on the politics of the region. His style of letting the people and events around him speak for themselves is illuminating. He has an empathic and observant eye, and a knack for being in the right place.
Most important of all, he sees these world shaping events for their effects on the people who must live, suffer or die through them as though THEY are what matters, and not the events or dictator biographies themselves. This is a humane and enlightened viewpoint, and ends up teaching me more about what happened during those times than other approaches.
There is a beauty and truthfulness in this style of journalism of immersion and talking to people that helps to make sense of the many conflicting arguments and perspectives of complex issues. I have nothing but praise for the man and his books, and you would do well to read them yourself
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Farhad Saberi (fsaber1@po-box.mcgill.ca) on Sept. 30 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is probably the best one I have read about the revolution of 1979 in Iran. It is concise and gets to the point very quickly. It is very illuminating. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK if you are interested to learn about the revolution. I give my utmost respect to the author for perceiving the situation as it was, with such clarity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18 1998
Format: Paperback
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It gave me more information about Iran than everything I read in newspapers or heard on the radio for all the years of the hostage crisis and since. Despite being translated from the Polish, it reads like poetry or myth, and manages to convey a gut level understanding of what it is to be Iranian. Along the way it pulls up all kinds of other issues, and illuminates them with great compassion and insight.What happens to the ruler of a poor third world country when oil suddenly brings unimaginable wealth? What is it like to live with the fear of the secret police permeating every thought and action? What mysterious factor causes a fearful hopeless population to finally revolt against its opressors?
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Format: Paperback
quite frankly, i do not think some of these other reviewers have read any kapuscinski books prior to this one. shah of shah's is not meant to be the tell-all end-all book on islam, the shah, the history of iran... those books exist already. this book is about one man and his life of utter absurdity. this is not meant to denounce the shah (i have visited his memorial), but to say that when it comes to world leaders we have lost our sense of humor. this book is at times tragic and shocking in the sheer idiocy of human beings, and ironic that it takes a polish journalist to see more than one side to the story.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first of Kapucinski's books that I've read and it takes a little while to get used to his style, but once you've settled in, it is quite entertaining. The book is historical, but written by a journalist, so you expect the style to fall somewhere between that of an historian and a journalist. Suprisingly <i>Shah of Shahs</i> reads more like a novel.
The book is divided into three sections: One which introduces the unrest in Iran in the 1970s, another of descriptions of photographs and recollections from notes and interviews, and lastly section called the "The Dead Flame" that hints at what is coming the wake of revolution. It poignantly shows through the author's own experience (Iran's revolution was the 27th that he'd witnessed) that things were no different there than they were in a multitude of Latin American and African countries.
Kapuscinski's style is seductive and addictive. I know I will be reading more of his work in the future.
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By A Customer on Oct. 27 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a very interesting book. Since there seems to be some confusion about it, let me make clear what this book is NOT; if you are looking for any of the following you should look elsewhere:
- A blow by blow account of the shah's life and the revolution with 30 references per 'fact'.
- A book about Americans. This book, being what it is, is about ehm...Iranians.
- Moral indignation about any of the protagonists whether the revolutionaries or the Shah or the Americans.
What this is, is a feelings book, a mood book. What this book will give you a feel for(according to the authors interpretation of course!) is:
- The nature of Iranian life before the oil boom
- The nature of the Shah and how he perhaps saw himself.
- The immense physical and physcological changes the oil boom brought to the region
- The Shah's tragicomic efforts to modernize.
- How Iranians saw themselves, the backwardness and the new modernity entering the land.
- The nature of life under the Shah.
- What would be the mood during the eventful days leading upto the revolution.
- Why these revolutions(Kapuscinski's 27th!) invariably fall apart, why those who could produce positive change invariably get shunted aside.
- What it might take to produce positive change.
This is a very good book. Kapuscinski makes some excellent observations. He is very perceptive and has the habit of sifting through the fog, to the root of the subject. Only gripe would be that the photographs should have been printed in the first section on Daguerrotypes, and sometimes his writing style gets a little too cute, and tends to lapse into hyperbolic metaphor.
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