By the author of Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia , this chronicles the forlorn journey into exile and death of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. It is also about the Pahlavi regime, its relations with the British and American governments and the popular uprising that toppled the Shah in 1979. In relating this classic tale of hubris, Shawcross is effective in delineating the Shah's blind arrogance as the petrodollars brought unimagined wealth to Iran. (``You in the United States,'' he remarked to a U.S. Treasury Secretary, ``don't understand how a country should be run.'') Instead of portraying him as a fool who got what he deserved, however, as a lesser writer might have done, Shawcross describes the Shah's 19-month exile as a pathetic search for refuge and for medical treatment by a homeless man who was unable to the very end to understand what had gone wrong. The author also reveals the complicated rivalry between the eight separate teams of doctors attempting to treat the medical problems that finally laid the Shah to rest on July 27, 1980. The Shah himself referred to this as ``a medical soap opera.'' First serial to Vanity Fair; BOMC alternate. (October)
The Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the man who ruled Iran in excess and fear, and lost his country to the Ayatollah Khomeini, has become a faint memory. Shawcross resurrects the Shah and his last months of life in exile while recalling the events and cast of international players that conspired to elevate him to his place of world prominence before turning him into a pariah and political dynamite for the United States and its allies. Although well written, the book contributes very little that is new. Libraries with established collections in this area will already have Fereydoun Hoveyda's Fall of the Shah and Amin Saikal's Rise and Fall of the Shah (both reviewed in LJ 4/15/80)both are good. If not, Shawcross's book will suffice. BOMC alternate. David P. Snider, Casa Grande P.L., Ariz.