By Stephen Kinzer
With an exciting narrative that sheds a lot mild on contemporary occasions, this nationwide bestseller brings to lifestyles the 1953 CIA coup in Iran that ousted the country’s elected top minister, ushered in a quarter-century of brutal rule less than the Shah, and influenced the increase of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism within the heart East. chosen as the best books of the yr via the Washington Post and The Economist, it now incorporates a new preface through the writer at the folly of attacking Iran.
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Extra info for All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
As much of the world rushed toward modernity, Iran under the Qajars stagnated. “In a country so backward in constitutional progress, so destitute of forms and statutes and charters, and so ﬁrmly stereotyped in the immemorial traditions of the East, the personal element, as might be expected, is largely in the ascendant,” the British statesman Lord Curzon wrote toward the end of the Qajar period. ” Had Iran been governed during the nineteenth century by a strong and sophisticated regime, it might have managed to fend off the ambitions of foreign powers.
When there was no money left for him to take, he came up with the idea of raising cash by selling Iran’s patrimony to foreign companies and governments. The British were his ﬁrst customers. British ofﬁcials were worried by native uprisings in India and wanted a telegraph line to their command posts there. In 1857 they bought a concession to build one across Iran. French, German, and Austrian groups bought a variety of other concessions. A German-born British subject, Baron Julius de Reuter, of news agency fame, won the most breathtaking one of all.
In 1921 he burst into the nation’s consciousness, a rough man on horseback named Reza. Born in the remote Alborz Mountains near the Russian border, Reza left home as a teenager to follow the family tradition of military service. Rather than join the private army of a local chief, he chose to enlist in the Cossack Brigade, the only unit in the country that was modern, disciplined, and well commanded. It had been founded by Russian officers dispatched by the Czar and served principally as a private guard for the interests of foreigners and the Qajar kings who served them.
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer