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

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But this book seems to have its good guys and bad guys: the story goes that the magnificent "reforming" "democratic" leader of Iran Mohammed Mossadegh was overthrown solely by the evil CIA in the 1950s and put in place the "evil" "autocratic" and "unpopular" Shah who was overthrown in 1979 by the masses of Iran yearning to be free. In the fabled history of the coup, from such incapacity the CIA developed a resilient network that easily toppled a popular leader a few months later. Stephen Kinzer doesn’t tell anything new and the almost care-free way by which he draws conclusions about the legacy of the coup diminishes the value of the book. To be fair, this is not a historical work and Kinzer has mostly relied on the works of other historians like Elm and Gasiorowski for creating his narrative. The problematic part is his handling of the events surrounding the coup and its aftermath. His depiction of the coup is basically a banal rehashing of the account offered by Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA field-operative who reputedly masterminded the coup and brought it to success, almost single-handedly. And what a towering historic figure Mohammad Mossadeq was. Although, to be precise, his “historic persona” is what is towering, since he’s been romanticized into something like a movie star. However, the real man, as it clearly transpires from even just this book, was an uncompromising, deceitful and obsessive guy who with his rigidity put the people of his country at serious risk various times. That is not what a “great politician” does. All The Shah's Men is a popular work that many students have to write book reports on. It talks about how justice triumphed in the middle east amidst a period of extreme turmoil and aggression. See the following sample book report to read a comprehensive review and analysis of the work. Economic and Ideological Goals: All The Shah’s Men

The author makes good use of the material, toggling his drama between Washington, where CIA desk officers furiously churned out material for bought–off Iranian newspapers and radio stations, to Teheran, where Roosevelt scurried among clandestine meetings with Reza Pahlevi a man so timorous he flew to Baghdad when the plot seemed to unravel as well as with various treasonous Iranian Army officers. Conveniently enough, the secretary of state could ask his brother to do the dirty work. Allen Dulles was then running the newly founded C.I.A., which had grown out of the wartime Office of Strategic Services. The C.I.A.'s man in Tehran was Kermit Roosevelt, an affable young O.S.S. veteran who had inherited his grandfather Theodore's taste for adventure. After masterminding the 1953 coup, Roosevelt began his victory speech by crowing, ''Friends, Persians, countrymen, lend me your ears!''

Economic and Ideological Goals: All The Shah’s Men

For example, the idea of a coup was also strongly promoted by aggrieved Iranian politicians who believed that Mossadeq’s disastrous course was ill-serving their country. General Fazlullah confirmed the embassy’s view that a nascent anti-Mossadeq coalition already existed and could gain power with very limited American support. T]he United States gave its go-ahead for Operation Ajax, or Operation Boot as the British continued to call it. The governments in London and Washington were finally united in their enthusiasm. One [Britain] looked forward to recovering its oil concession. The other [The United States] saw a chance to deliver a devastating blow against communism." (164). aIran |0https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n79039880 |xRelations |0https://id.loc.gov/authorities/subjects/sh00007590 |zUnited States. |0https://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/n78095330-781 Reza Shah, a strongman from northern Iran, overthrew the Qajars in 1926 collaborating with Britain as the Bolsheviks renounced claims on Iran. An admirer of Ataturk, Reza built roads, rails and banks, banned foreign property sales and constrained religion by authoritarian fiat. A fan of Mussolini and Hitler he ran afoul of the west in WWII, abdicating in 1941. Postwar profits from the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. soared as protests proliferated, leading to the rise of nationalists.

The truly sad part of the story concerns American willingness to take over as a pawn of the British, once Mossadegh had the good sense to evict all United Kingdom diplomats (and spies) from his country as their scheming to overthrow him reached fever pitch. The Dulles brothers, key aides to Eisenhower, did not argue that Mossadegh himself was a Communist or was likely to turn to the Soviets, only that they needed him removed to install Mohammed Rezah Shah and bolster him as a hedge against Soviet expansionism. As Kinzer notes, the Dulles brothers showed little awareness of what they were getting their country into with the first U.S. action to overthrow a foreign government.

While being very curious about the erstwhile Persia, most of the available media-supplied images of Iran were couched in extreme anti-American rhetoric, nary a hint about why the people of that land might be so antagonistic. Kinzer fills in the gaps & does so in an almost politically neutral manner. As the saying has it, "the devil is in the details" and the way the story of the CIA-led overthrow of an elected Iranian government unfolds, seems almost comic at times, with anti-Mossadegh protestors being somewhat randomly hired by the CIA, at times reminding one of an early scene from the recent film Argo. What happened hardly represnts a distinguished moment in American diplomatic history. a(OCoLC)173499042 |z(OCoLC)987454150 |z(OCoLC)989766545 |z(OCoLC)1043375580 |z(OCoLC)1059406032 |z(OCoLC)1133776180 |z(OCoLC)1283805081 Obviously, this dose of Sufi metaphysics does not explain the storming of the U.S. embassy in 1979 but it serves to humanize Iran for the outsider perhaps more than any listing of the historical achievements of Cyrus the Great or Darius in ancient Persia. Iran has a very rich & complex history & Kinzer builds on that history so that a casual reader can begin to fathom the happenings in 1979 & what led up to that moment in history. Not only the reality of politics has no heroes - it also has no good guys and bad guys. This is the truth. The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

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