Kapuscinski writes one of the most accessible, entertaining histories that I've ever read in Shah of Shahs; and in so doing allows the American reader some glimpse into what things were like in Iran during the heady, confusing days of the Iranian revolution. While readable, this book is also rather challenging as it tends to speak to subjects that Americans don't know about and uses terms and devices that many may not be ready to see in a work of non-fiction. Don't assume that Kapuscinski will write in the menacing, deadly serious tone that many other (mostly American) writers reserve for Iran and the other "Axis of Evil" nations; because he doesn't. Instead, he takes the time and effort to recount these terribly serious events in a semi-serious way, while keeping contact with the undercurrent of absurdity and entropy that so many Eastern European writers bring to their work and that is so very appropriate when thinking, talking, and writing about the actions of men and nations.
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.