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

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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 ...
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.

posted by Anonymous on September 25, 2008

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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 10, 2009

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