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All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror chapter 1 All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, meaning All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, genre All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, book cover All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror, flies 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 Terror 8a932c2438227 An American Coup The Roots Of Middle East TerrorHalf A Century Ago, The United States Overthrew A Middle Eastern Government For The First Time The Victim Was Mohammad Mossadegh, The Democratically Elected Prime Minister Of Iran Although The Coup Seemed A Success At First, Today It Serves As A Chilling Lesson About The Dangers Of Foreign InterventionIn This Book, Veteran New York Times Correspondent Stephen Kinzer Gives The First Full Account Of This Fateful Operation His Account Is Centered Around An Hour By Hour Reconstruction Of The Events Of August , And Concludes With An Assessment Of The Coup S Haunting And Terrible Legacy Operation Ajax, As The Plot Was Code Named, Reshaped The History Of Iran, The Middle East, And The World It Restored Mohammad Reza Shah To The Peacock Throne, Allowing Him To Impose A Tyranny That Ultimately Sparked The Islamic Revolution Of The Islamic Revolution, In Turn, Inspired Fundamentalists Throughout The Muslim World, Including The Taliban And Terrorists Who Thrived Under Its Protection It Is Not Far Fetched, Kinzer Asserts In This Book, To Draw A Line From Operation Ajax Through The Shah S Repressive Regime And The Islamic Revolution To The Fireballs That Engulfed The World Trade Center In New York Drawing On Research In The United States And Iran, And Using Material From A Long Secret CIA Report, Kinzer Explains The Background Of The Coup And Tells How It Was Carried Out It Is A Cloak And Dagger Story Of Spies, Saboteurs, And Secret Agents There Are Accounts Of Bribes, Staged Riots, Suitcases Full Of Cash, And Midnight Meetings Between The Shah And CIA Agent Kermit Roosevelt, Who Was Smuggled In And Out Of The Royal Palace Under A Blanket In The Back Seat Of A Car Roosevelt,the Grandson Of President Theodore Roosevelt, Was A Real Life James Bond In An Era When CIA Agents Operated Mainly By Their Wits After His First Coup Attempt Failed, He Organized A Second Attempt That Succeeded Three Days LaterThe Colorful Cast Of Characters Includes The Terrified Young Shah, Who Fled His Country At The First Sign Of Trouble General H Norman Schwarzkopf, Father Of The Gulf War Commander And The Radio Voice Of Gang Busters, Who Flew To Tehran On A Secret Mission That Helped Set The Coup In Motion And The Fiery Prime Minister Mossadegh, Who Outraged The West By Nationalizing The Immensely Profitable Anglo Iranian Oil Company The British, Outraged By The Seizure Of Their Oil Company, Persuaded President Dwight Eisenhower That Mossadegh Was Leading Iran Toward Communism Eisenhower And Prime Minister Winston Churchill Of Great Britain Became The Coup S Main SponsorsBrimming With Insights Into Middle Eastern History And American Foreign Policy, This Book Is An Eye Opening Look At An Event Whose Unintended Consequences Islamic Revolution And Violent Anti Americanism Have Shaped The Modern World As The United States Assumes An Ever Widening Role In The Middle East, It Is Essential Reading


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

  1. says:

    I just re read this book in preparation for a book club This book is the tragic story of a CIA operation that removed one of the only democratically elected leaders in the Middle East Mossadegh came into power and angered the British by nationalizing Iranian Oil and the British were determined to oust him from office After Truman who opposed a coup left office and Eisenhower came to office, the Americans also signed on and actually conducted the coup This story is so tragic especially if you are Iranian because although no one can say for certain what would have been, the fundamentalism that has taken over Iran and the entire middle east could have been averted with someone like Mossadegh in power He was committed to the constitution and democracy He was called the George Washington of Iran His flaws were that he nationalized the oil and was not flexible in allowing the British any control of the company and he underestimated the cold war fears of the time A lot of Anti American hatred in Iran stems from this operation and the 1978 hostage crisis was a direct result of Iranian fears of a repeat of the 1953 CIA led overthrow I think the author could have done a lot and the writing is certainly not flawless, but I give it five stars because I think everyone should read this book Kinzer the author gives a truncated history of Iran and gets a lot of the psychology of the Iranian people right I think he doesn t go far enough in saying that had Iran not fallen to Islamic fundamentalism in 1978, the entire Middle East would have been a different place today The book, in my opinion, is not unjustifiably harsh on America Eisenhower did not bear as much blame for this as churchill and the author places the blame mostly on two people in his cabinet who were very anxious about covert operations in many countries at the time and we certainly cannot underestimate the cold war fears that dominated the world psyche during the 1950s But I just cannot help but feel depressed about this and just wonder what would have happened if the Iranian people were allowed to run their own country.


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    1953 .


  3. says:

    All the Shah s Men, Stephen KinzerAll the Shah s Men An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror is a book written by American journalist Stephen Kinzer The book discusses the 1953 Iranian coup d tat backed by the U.S Central Intelligence Agency CIA in which Mohammed Mossadegh, Iran s prime minister, was overthrown by Islamists supported by American and British agents chief among them Kermit Roosevelt and royalists loyal to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi In 1933 Reza Shah signed a deal selling Iranian oil extraction rights to the Anglo Persian Oil Company, later called British Petroleum BP Though Iran was officially neutral at the start of World War II, its monarch was friendly towards the Axis Following the 1941 Allied Invasion of Iran, Reza Shah was forced to abdicate in favour of his son Mohammad Reza Shah, who upheld the oil agreement with APOC, which by then had been renamed the Anglo Iranian Oil Company When the first democratically elected parliament and prime minister in Iran took power in 1950 they planned to seize the oil assets in Iran that had been developed by the British, violating the still running oil contract with British Petroleum The British government followed to court in Belgium s International Court, lost the case against Iran s new government and reacted by blockading the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz, halting Iran s trade and economy 2004 28 28 1382 364 9647992033 1382 367 9789647514422 1383 360 96475790093 1382 378 964711429 1382 .


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  5. says:

    Eye opening, sad and infuriating read Tells how the U.S destroyed the birth of democracy in the middle east, which began in Iran, and now falsely accuses Iran as a sponsor of Mid East terrorism, when in truth, it s the Saudis Always remember majority of Islamist terrorists are Sunni Muslims, while Iran are Shia Muslims


  6. says:

    Wow, such a great book I had read Kinzer s The brothers a few years ago, about the Dulles brothers, and found it just as engaging, well written, and well researched Kinzer has a real gift to write history that is deep, accurate and, at the same time, as gripping as a novel I ve often found that many history books that are very engaging lack a certain depth or seriousness All the Shah s men does not it s both a gripping tale, almost a page turner, and a really good history book The only slightly negative thing I have to say about All the Shah s men is the same that I had for The brothers Kinzer is a passionate author, which is wonderful, but his political leanings tend to show especially towards the end So when I think about this book I wonder is it really offering an impartial account of history, by focusing so much on blaming the US for everything For example how did it happen that the history of a country plundered mercilessly by British and Russian colonialists became the history of a country whose future has been ruined by the US When Kinzer traces a direct line from the 1953 coup to 9 11, it seems to me that he is drawing over simplified lines through history When he says that Islamic terrorism has its roots in 1953, he is visualizing roots that might be a bit short But again, this is a fabulous read, that I would absolutely recommend to anyone who is curious about this fascinating period of history Also since Herodotus times, history gets much interesting if you insert a bit of bias and subjective narrative without that, it easily becomes a very dry collection of facts and sources And what a towering historic figure Mohammad Mossadeq was Although, to be precise, his historic persona 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 good politician does Kinzer, however, in his interviews, loves to buy into the hero of the people narrative Personally, I think heroes exist only in popular history , which is typically a fictionalization of reality If Iranians today have theater plays where Mossadegh is celebrated for being the greatest man of the 20th century, that is very good for their national spirit, but maybe not so good for truth Same goes for Che Guevara, Simon Bolivar and everyone else whom popular history loves to celebrate as demi gods They are all human beings Erm actually, worse they were all men, and extremely dominating ones Not only the reality of politics has no heroes it also has no good guys and bad guys 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.Yes of course the CIA plotted with the U.K to support a regime change But regardless of anything the United States did or did not do, the question is what would have happened otherwise There were many serious risks to global stability Mosaddeq s government was already in a deep crisis he was bound to fall because of his strategic mistakes, and no one knows what could have happened after that perhaps the shah was going to retain his throne and expand his power, or perhaps communist groups in Iran would have been backed by Russia Yet the narrative of exclusive American culpability has become so entrenched that it now shapes how many Americans understand the history of U.S Iranian relations and influences how American leaders think about Iran Including Obama For example, it is hard to see how Eisenhower could take advantage of Mossadeq s mishaps when he was informed by his intelligence services that the CIA presently has no group which would be effective in spreading anti Mossadeq mass propaganda and the CIA has no group in Iran which could effectively promote riots demonstrating against Mossadeq from recently declassified CIA documents 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 The truth might be in the middle they absolutely did that, but probably not on the scale that is sometimes reported, and thanks to the help of many other powerful groups 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.Also, documentary evidence reveals that, far from acting as puppet masters, CIA operatives and U.S embassy staffers in Tehran were surprised at the size and diversity of the 1953 crowds The protesters who took to the streets were not merely thugs hired by the CIA in fact, they represented a cross section of Iranian society Mosaddeq s defiance of the shah had outraged them and, in the words of one contemporaneous CIA assessment, had galvanized the people into an irate pro Shah force So, many people were on the side of the Shah already In addition, Iranian military officers had their own reasons for plotting against Mosaddeq, and they required neither instigation nor instruction from Roosevelt Under the shah, and during the rule of his father before him, the military and the monarchy were indivisible The army was an essential pillar of the shah s rule That is why Mosaddeq who wanted to weaken the shah continuously purged the army s officer ranks, cut the military s budget, and hollowed out its institutions Of course the UK and the US supported the coup, no one will ever deny that, and of course you can and should make a moral argument against that, because a country can maybe legitimately put pressure on foreign governments, but not participate in overthrowing them So there is really no excuse for that decision on Eisenhower s part His own belief was that he wanted to avoid actual war in any foreign policy scenario by any possible mean, plus he was deeply entrenched in the Cold War against communism, and that explains his penchant for covert operations But if one wants his government to have always behaved like an angel, well the 1953 overthrow and others are certainly not a clean business If you want to read a good review to balance off Kinzer s book, check out Foreign Affairs article here if you have prime, I would recommend the documentary An American coup , where you can see Kinzer himself being interviewed and presenting many chapters of this book.


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  8. says:

    My S.F Chronicle review from 2003 Nearly two years after the shock of Sept 11, 2001, it s fair to start poking through the legacy of U.S foreign policy and raise troubling questions about the extent to which our own past misdeeds ultimately boomeranged on us Few readers of All the Shah s Men, by longtime New York Times foreign correspondent Stephen Kinzer, can come away without grave suspicions that Sept 11 was in many ways a self inflicted wound What American crime could explain so sensational a charge Simply that U.S leaders in the early 1950s lacked the courage of their convictions and did not really believe in democracy Instead, despite the post Stalin vacuum of power in the Soviet Union, President Eisenhower held his nose and gave the CIA the OK to overthrow the elected government of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953 If you ve never heard of Mossadegh, don t feel bad He appeared on the cover of Time magazine as Man of the Year for 1951, no small feat for a year when Henry Luce could easily have chosen Winston Churchill, Harry Truman or Ike But in the years since his illegal ouster, Mossadegh has slipped into a deep obscurity, unless of course you happen to be Iranian To most Iranians, he remains a potent symbol of freedom and the hope of democracy, and most have long been aware of the millions of dollars the CIA spent to topple his government, a dirty chapter in U.S history finally owned up to during the Clinton administration Why did you Americans do that terrible thing a relative of Mossadegh demands of Kinzer We always loved America To us, America was the great country, the perfect country, the country that helped us while other countries were exploiting us But after that moment, no one in Iran ever trusted the United States again I can tell you for sure that if you had not done that thing, you would never have had that problem of hostages being taken in your embassy in Tehran All your trouble started in 1953 Why, why did you do it Why, why indeed The short answer is that then as now, U.S decision makers based their choices on alarmist, highly ideological interpretations of short term problems and left the toxic fallout to other administrations and generations But by manipulating the Iranian media, renting thugs and bribing military officers, all to oust Mossadegh, the CIA virtually forced large numbers of Iranians to adopt a strident anti Americanism Desire for revenge against the great Satan, seen in this context, is not nearly the puzzle it seemed to poor Jimmy Carter, hunkered down in the White House during the hostage crisis The anti Americanism that thrived in Iran s Muslim community soon spread to influence other radicals in the region, most especially Osama bin Laden Kinzer, co author of Bitter Fruit, a classic study of the CIA sponsored coup against Guatemala s Jacobo Arbenz in 1954, emphasizes the importance of British influence in Iran, and in particular, the role of the Anglo Iranian Oil Company Mossadegh nationalized the company only after the British ignored repeated American pleas to compromise and split profits 50 50 with the Iranians The smugness of British imperial disdain for the Iranians ought to serve as a bracing reminder to the contemporary reader of how unchecked global power can lead to a deep and deeply stupid form of arrogance Before Mossadegh showed up at the U.N in New York for a dramatic appearance, British delegate Gladwyn Jebb made a speech that showed a complete lack of understanding of the resentment imperialism could inspire Despite the appalling living conditions of workers at the company s huge oil refinery in Iran, as British directors lived nearby in luxury, Jebb sputtered on patronizingly about how the company s profiteering in Iran must arouse the greatest admiration from the social point of view and should be taken as a model of the form of development which would bring benefits to the economically less developed areas of the world The British had in fact discovered the oil in Iran, and had in fact built the refineries and assembled the fleet of tankers to transport it around the world But the unwillingness of British leaders, including Churchill, to accept even a 50 50 split of the billions derived from Iranian oil was a costly miscalculation 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 Their decision to make Iran the first battleground of their crusade may or may not have been wise, but they deserve to be judged harshly for the way they made it, he writes Even before taking their oaths of office, both brothers had convinced themselves beyond all doubt that Mossadegh must go They never even considered the possibility that a coup might be a bad idea or that it might have negative consequences History might view their action favorably if it had been the result of serious, open minded reflection and debate Instead, it sprang from petulant impatience, from a burning desire to do something, anything, that would seem like a victory over communism Iran was the place they chose to start showing the world that the United States was no longer part of what Vice President Richard Nixon called Dean Acheson s college of cowardly Communist containment Steve Kettmann, editor of Game Time, the new Roger Angell collection, lives in New York.http sfgate.com cgi bin article.cgiThis article appeared on page M 6 of the San Francisco Chronicle


  9. says:

    All the Shah s Men .


  10. says:

    The overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh is one of the little known events that lead to Mohammad Reza Shah coming to power in Iran This book looks at the tragic aftermath and the continuing strife that was a direct result of this act.


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