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

All The Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East TerrorThis is the first full-length account of the CIA’s coup d’etat in Iran in 1953—a covert operation whose consequences are still with us today. Written by a noted New York Times journalist, this book is based on documents about the coup (including some lengthy internal CIA reports) that have now been declassified. Stephen Kinzer’s compelling narrative is at once a vital piece of history, a cautionary tale, and a real-life espionage thriller.

The newest edition of the bestseller chosen as one of the best books of the year by the Washington Post and the Economist begins with a powerful new essay that warns against an American attack on Iran. As the drumbeat of threats against Iran intensifies in Washington, Kinzer argues that they are based on fantasies that are as dangerous as they are delusional. Any attack, he warns, would usher in another era of upheaval in Iran and the surrounding region, this time with the overlay of nuclear-tinged terror. There is more fertile ground for democratic change in Iran than in almost any other Muslim country, and Kinzer presents an alternate strategy for dealing with the burgeoning crisis there. “As militants in Washington urge a second American attack on Iran, the story of the first one becomes more urgently relevant than ever,” Kinzer writes in his new essay. “It shows the folly of using violence to try to reshape Iran.”

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Stephen Kinzer’s brilliant reconstruction of the Iranian coup is made even more fascinating by the fact that it is true. It is as gripping as a thriller, and also tells much about why the United States is involved today in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
–Gore Vidal
Remarkable, readable and relevant All the Shah’s Men not only reads like an exciting, page turning spy novel, it deals with the hard issues of today.
–Senator Richard Lugar
A well-researched object lesson in the dismal folly of so-called nation-building. British and American readers of today should blush with shame.
–John Le Carre
A very gripping tale a cautionary tale for our current leaders.
New York Times 
An extremely engrossing, often riveting, nearly Homeric tale For anyone with more than a passing interest in how the United States got into such a pickle in the Middle East, All the Shah’s Men is as good as Grisham.
Washington Post Book World 
An exciting narrative. [Kinzer] questions whether Americans are well served by the interventions for regime change abroad, and he reminds us of the long history of Iranian resistance to great power interventions, as well as of the unanticipated consequences of intervention.
Los Angeles Times 
Kinzer’s brisk, vivid account is filled with beguiling details A helpful reminder of an oft-neglected piece of Middle East history.
New York Times

2 Responses

  1. America, Iran, and the Prospects for Partnership - BPR Interviews: Stephen Kinzer - Brown Political Review

    […] or the Iran-Iraq war. For Iranians, the huge moment in U.S.-Iran relations had come earlier, in 1953. That was when the CIA worked with the British Secret Service to overthrow the first and last […]

  2. Code Word: Geronimo – American Military Propaganda for your Kids – a couple wrong turns. . .

    […] An account of operation Neptune Spear, the American military operation for eliminating Osama bin Laden, the comic book doesn’t delve into interesting issues such as the validity of state-sanctioned revenge. And while the post-script commentary is happy to include Osama bin Laden ‘s “Timeline of Atrocities”, it very pointedly neglects the CIA’s history in the region, their role in the rise of Islamic extremism (consider, for example, Stephen Kinzer’s All the Shah’s Men). […]

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