Shah of Shahs Paperback – Feb 4 1992
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"A book of great economy and power...with vivid imagery, a breathless way of writing that carries the reader along, and a supreme sense of the absurd." —New Republic"Like Sir Richard Butron, Evelyn Waugh and Mungo Park, [Kapuscinski] makes literature out of journalism." —Newsweek"Insightful and important.... A readable, timely and valuable contribution to the understanding of the revolutionary forces at work in Iran.... The reader almost becomes a participant." —The New York Times Book Review"A supercharged particle of a book." —Los Angeles Times
From the Publisher
"A book of great economy and power...with vivid imagery, a breathless way
of writing that carries the reader along, and a supreme sense of the absurd."
--The New Republic
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Top Customer Reviews
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
- 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.
Iran is probably the most misunderstood (by Americans) country there is. You may or may not have some more insight into Iran after reading this book. In my case it spurred me to find out more about their history, the history of Shi'ism, and Islam generally; all topics that most Americans would profit from knowing about. The most striking thing is that Americans have a lot more in common with Iranians than may be imagined, starting with our hatred of tyranny and deep religious committment. And that's not a bad start.
Most recent customer reviews
This book, although claiming to show you the inside scoop on what went on in revolutionary Iran, shares no insight, no secrets, no information, and no detail about anything... Read morePublished on May 9 2004
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. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by Joel Gee
I really enjoy this style of non-fiction. Kapuscinski describes photographs of different events, summarizes his meetings with different people and describes some of his time in... Read morePublished on July 8 2002
quite frankly, i do not think some of these other reviewers have read any kapuscinski books prior to this one. Read morePublished on May 29 2002 by brigid o'shaughnessy
This is a curious book.
It is supposed to be about Iran and its last king, Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
In fact, it is about everything except Iran and the Shah. Read more
If you are looking for a novel that is only rarely fact based and is one that only talks about the worst aspects of a dynasty, than you should definitely read Kapuscinski's Shah of... Read morePublished on Feb. 25 2002
I suppose the author is one of those "intellectuals" that thought Communism was one of the greatest thing to happen to Russia. Read morePublished on Feb. 24 2002 by A. K. K. Sheibany