Customer Reviews for

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

The CIA in Iran

Very good book. Slight bit of backtracking and foreshadowing makes the text hard to follow in places at first, but this is an excllent book that I would truly recommend. I have read many books on Middle Eastern history and this is one of the better ones I have read.

posted by Anonymous on August 3, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Good Summary

This book took me about 4 hours to read since it has extrememly big font. It seems to be written on a 10th grade reading level, and most of the information is presented in an informative, non-argumentative fassion. For this reason, this book is a great tool for those ...
This book took me about 4 hours to read since it has extrememly big font. It seems to be written on a 10th grade reading level, and most of the information is presented in an informative, non-argumentative fassion. For this reason, this book is a great tool for those who don't know much about the history of the Middle East, but for scholars like myself, it left much to be desired. There are many times when the author leaves out an important bit of information that would shine a slightly different light on American foreign policy. It is very factual and doesn't jump to very many conclusions. It even presents arguments for both sides in the final chapter (although the rest of the book is more or less one sided). Like I said, though, it is a great book for beginners who are looking for some background information to modern day policy, and it shouldn't bias the reader (much) toward either side.

posted by Anonymous on December 21, 2005

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    A read like none other!

    Stephen Kinzer says it as it is. No holds barred; he puts it bluntly and succinctly, no sugar coating. An eye opening read that will challenge what you think and how you see the world and the United States's international relations.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2008

    America's Overthrow of Democracy in Iran

    Award-winning former New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer gives an account of how the U.S. and British governments overthrew the Iranian government in his All the Shah¿s Men: an American Coup and the roots of Middle East terror. Their target was Mohammad Mossadegh. In 1951, Mossadegh was democratically and constitutionally appointed as the prime minister of Iran. In an effort to insure a more fair distribution of the wealth generated by Iran¿s huge oil reserves, and to improve conditions for the Iranian workers who helped to produce that wealth, he nationalized the British run Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. For this, the British government insisted that he be removed from office. Mossadegh also supported women¿s rights, believed in religious freedom and permitted courts and universities to function independently. The CIA code name for the coup was ¿Operation Ajax¿, and American Kermit Roosevelt (the grandson of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt) was its mastermind. He would lie under a blanket at the back seat of a car, while being transported to and fro Muhammad Reza Shah¿s palace for his secret meetings. He used audacious tactics in carrying out his plan. For example, ¿His agents would spread across Tehran to bribe politicians, mullahs, and anyone else who might be able to turn out crowds at a crucial moment.¿ When bribes failed, he was not above using threats and violence to achieve his objectives. Consequently, after an initial failed attempt, a second attempt at the coup was successful, and in 1953 Mossadegh was forcefully removed from office and placed under arrest. Muhammad Reza Shah was a tyrant who ruthlessly exploited his people until 1979, when the Islamic revolution overthrew his government. Kinzer, with a ¿keen journalistic eye, and with a novelist¿s pen,¿ has crafted a thought-provoking book. In the end, readers come away with a better understanding of why there is such disgust and distrust for U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, and especially in Iran.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2005

    Good Summary

    This book took me about 4 hours to read since it has extrememly big font. It seems to be written on a 10th grade reading level, and most of the information is presented in an informative, non-argumentative fassion. For this reason, this book is a great tool for those who don't know much about the history of the Middle East, but for scholars like myself, it left much to be desired. There are many times when the author leaves out an important bit of information that would shine a slightly different light on American foreign policy. It is very factual and doesn't jump to very many conclusions. It even presents arguments for both sides in the final chapter (although the rest of the book is more or less one sided). Like I said, though, it is a great book for beginners who are looking for some background information to modern day policy, and it shouldn't bias the reader (much) toward either side.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2004

    How the Roots of Terror Started

    An excellent inside look on how the CIA toppled Mossadegh installing the Pro-Western Shah. Kermit Roosevelt's CIA operations and a true account of how much the US played its role in regime change. This regime change serves as the stepping stone to the Islamic Revolution in Iran. Have our regime change operations created more future headaches much larger if we had left well alone? Read this book and you will be convinced to our role in Iran's reaction to the west presently today.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2003

    British / CIA overthrowing democratic elected leder

    One of the greatest book for understanding Iran today. As an American I am shamed what CIA/British did in Iran in 1953. Blame could be given most to British for their greed for Iranian oil. By overthrowing democratic elected leader of Iran in 1953, CIA and British are blamed for the Fundamentalist terror regim of Iran today. As a taxpayer I wonder why our tax money is going toward distroying other countries. Great book for those who can connect the dots from 1953 to 9-11.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    Dirty CIA / MI6 at work to overthrow democratic elected goverment

    As an American I am a shamed to see how TAXPAYERS money were spend in 1953 in Iran to overthrow democratic elected leader of Iran, because block head british wanted to suck the blood out of this poor country. We also can see due to this act 1979 revolution in Iran was very anti-west, because what CIA / MI6 did in 1953. And if we connect the dots 9-11 could be the result of CIA deeds in 1953 in mideast.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2003

    The CIA in Iran

    Very good book. Slight bit of backtracking and foreshadowing makes the text hard to follow in places at first, but this is an excllent book that I would truly recommend. I have read many books on Middle Eastern history and this is one of the better ones I have read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Simplistic and naieve

    The author fails to take into account the times in which these events occured. The world was divided into two spheres and the United States could not allow Iran to fall into the Soviet camp, threatening the Arabian oil fields upon which the global economy depended.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2012

    Very Highly Recommended

    This book brings out all the documented facts to the open. Problems in Iran starting back with the Imperial Oil company of England, the root cause of hate and evil. Greed by the oil company, taking it into any possible way to continue its teeth even at the cost of Nationalization to the Iranian people. America getting caught in the middle of it. As one can see this is exactly how America paid for after the Iranian ouster of Shad in 1979 and placement of a British Puppet called "Ayatollah". Why? look what happened after the take over, all American interests were completely shut down while British, European, Russian and Chinese started to grow.....

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    Posted August 24, 2009

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