By Stephen Kinzer

With an exhilarating narrative that sheds a lot mild on fresh 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 below the Shah, and motivated the increase of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism within the heart East. chosen as the best books of the yr by means of the Washington Post and The Economist, it now contains a new preface by way of the writer at the folly of attacking Iran.

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Additional info for All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

Example text

At one point the Majlis went so far as to refuse a loan offered by Russian bankers. Soon afterward it voted to establish a national bank run by Iranians. These efforts, however, were in vain. Iran fell ever more deeply into bondage as the Qajars continued selling the country’s assets. In 1907 Britain and Russia signed a treaty dividing Iran between them. Britain assumed control of southern provinces, while Russia took the north. A strip between the two zones was declared neutral, meaning that Iranians could rule there as long as they did not act against the interests of their powerful guests.

His first act after assuming the throne was to declare Shiism the official state religion. A famous miniature painting depicts the scene, with this caption: “On Friday, the exalted king went to the congregational mosque of Tabriz and ordered its preacher, who was one of the Shiite dignitaries, to mount the pulpit. ” Far more than simply a religious act, this was the single most important step toward creating the Iranian nation. Ismail used Shiism to help him build an empire that within ten years of his coronation not only included most of modern-day Iran but extended from Central Asia to Baghdad and from the frosty Caucasus to the sands of the Persian Gulf.

In 1872, for a paltry sum and a promise of future royalties, he acquired the exclusive right to run the country’s industries, irrigate its farmland, exploit its mineral resources, develop its railroad and streetcar lines, establish its national bank, and print its currency. ” Many were angered by the extreme one-sidedness of the Reuter concession. Iranian patriots, of whom there were already quite a number, were naturally outraged. So were merchants and businessmen, who saw their opportunities suddenly snatched away from them.

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