Cover image for 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
Kinzer, Stephen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
[San Clemente, Calif.] : Tantor Media, [2003]

Physical Description:
9 audio discs (10 hrs., 34 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
In a cloak and dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, the author reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power. Reza imposed a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and that in turn inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists under its protection.
General Note:
Compact disc.
Format :
Audiobook on CD


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DS318 .K49 2003C Adult Audiobook on CD Audiobooks

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Half a century ago, the United States overthrew the democratically elected prime minister of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, whose "crime" was nationalizing the country's oil industry.

In a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, Kinzer reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, Kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power. Reza imposed a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979, which, 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, "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."

Author Notes

Stephen Kinzer, an award-winning New York Times correspondent who has reported from more than fifty countries on five continents, is the author of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq .
Michael Prichard is a professional narrator and stage and film actor who has played several thousand characters during his career. An Audie Award winner, he has recorded well over five hundred books and has earned several AudioFile Earphones Awards. Michael was also named a Top Ten Golden Voice by SmartMoney magazine.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

With breezy storytelling and diligent research, Kinzer has reconstructed the CIA's 1953 overthrow of the elected leader of Iran, Mohammad Mossadegh, who was wildly popular at home for having nationalized his country's oil industry. The coup ushered in the long and brutal dictatorship of Mohammad Reza Shah, widely seen as a U.S. puppet and himself overthrown by the Islamic revolution of 1979. At its best this work reads like a spy novel, with code names and informants, midnight meetings with the monarch and a last-minute plot twist when the CIA's plan, called Operation Ajax, nearly goes awry. A veteran New York Times foreign correspondent and the author of books on Nicaragua (Blood of Brothers) and Turkey (Crescent and Star), Kinzer has combed memoirs, academic works, government documents and news stories to produce this blow-by-blow account. He shows that until early in 1953, Great Britain and the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company were the imperialist baddies of this tale. Intransigent in the face of Iran's demands for a fairer share of oil profits and better conditions for workers, British Foreign Secretary Herbert Morrison exacerbated tension with his attitude that the challenge from Iran was, in Kinzer's words, "a simple matter of ignorant natives rebelling against the forces of civilization." Before the crisis peaked, a high-ranking employee of Anglo-Iranian wrote to a superior that the company's alliance with the "corrupt ruling classes" and "leech-like bureaucracies" were "disastrous, outdated and impractical." This stands as a textbook lesson in how not to conduct foreign policy. (July) FYI: Publication coincides with the 50th anniversary of the coup, a good news hook for promotion. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

That the past is prolog is especially true in this astonishing account of the 1953 overthrow of nationalist Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh, who became prime minister in 1951 and immediately nationalized the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. This act angered the British, who sought assistance from the United States in overthrowing Mossadegh's fledgling democracy. Kermit Roosevelt, Teddy's grandson, led the successful coup in August 1953, which ended in the reestablishment of the Iranian monarchy in the person of Mohammad Reza Shah. Iranian anger at this foreign intrusion smoldered until the 1979 revolution. Meanwhile, over the next decade, the United States successfully overthrew other governments, such as that of Guatemala. Kinzer, a New York Times correspondent who has also written about the 1954 Guatemala coup (Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala), tells his captivating tale with style and verve. This book leads one to wonder how many of our contemporary problems in the Middle East may have resulted from this covert CIA adventure. Recommended for all collections.-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

This comprehensive--and most current--account of the nationalization of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company under the leadership of Mohammad Mossadegh in 1951 details the reaction of the company, the British government, and US political leadership to that historic event. Mossadegh had become "a defining figure whose ideas, for better or worse, were reshaping history," a fact that the British were simply not willing, or able, to accept. The ensuing crisis pushed Iran into economic bankruptcy and political chaos, vulnerable to Soviet designs. In 1952, Churchill and Eisenhower agreed to get rid of the Iranian prime minister using covert activities of the CIA. The consequences proved monumental for both Iran and the whole region. Seasoned New York Times reporter Kinzer offers a well-researched and attractive book that is more journalism than scholarship. Sources for the numerous quotations appear in endnotes rather than footnotes, and some quotations are from secondary sources whose reliability many scholars have questioned. However, on the whole, this is a valuable and informative work for students of international affairs, with a moving account in the epilogue of the author's visit to Mossadegh's estate, where the leader was forced to spend the last years of his life and where he is buried. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels and collections. N. Rassekh Lewis and Clark College