Catalogue


The life and times of the Shah /
Gholam Reza Afkhami.
imprint
Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, c2009.
description
xvii, 713 p.
ISBN
0520253280 (cloth), 9780520253285 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Berkeley, CA : University of California Press, c2009.
isbn
0520253280 (cloth)
9780520253285 (cloth)
contents note
The father -- Father and son -- The man -- Ascending the throne -- Azerbaijan -- Nationalizing oil -- Toward the Abyss -- TPAJAX -- A new vista -- The white revolution -- Women and rights -- Mastering oil -- Commander-in-chief -- Development and dreams -- Gas, petrochemicals, and nuclear energy -- Politics and terror -- SAVAK -- A celebration and a festival -- The Rastakhiz party -- The gathering storm -- "I heard the message of your revolution" -- "Melting like snow" -- Trek to nowhere -- The Ayatollah's shadow -- Almost bartered -- Closing in a dream.
catalogue key
6679458
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
"This book rises above common misconceptions to tell an important story, one that forged the destiny of Iran and changed the course of Middle East history. There is no better book on the Shah, his rule and legacy, and none more enjoyable to read."--Vali Nasr, author ofThe Shia Revival "A thorough and vivid picture of a very significant period in the political history of Iran and the larger world."--Farhad Kazemi, author ofPoverty and Revolution in Iran
Flap Copy
"This book rises above common misconceptions to tell an important story, one that forged the destiny of Iran and changed the course of Middle East history. There is no better book on the Shah, his rule and legacy, and none more enjoyable to read."--Vali Nasr, author of The Shia Revival "A thorough and vivid picture of a very significant period in the political history of Iran and the larger world."--Farhad Kazemi, author of Poverty and Revolution in Iran
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2009-09-01:
This comprehensive, objective, and lucid biography of Mohammad Reza Shah by an author who was himself an insider stands heads above all other literature on the last Iranian monarch and the circumstances that ended monarchy in Iran. Afkhami's examination of non-Iranian sources is extensive and thorough, and he has used his access to many of the key players in the great drama, friends as well as enemies of the regime, to provide readers with a different perspective on the key events in Iran's history that caused the 1979 revolution that ended with the establishment of an Islamic theocracy. The author's presentation of the critical chapters of the king's reign--such as the nationalization of oil, the CIA's operation TPAJAX (which overthrew Iranian Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq), the "White Revolution," Iran's role during the Cold War, the controversial celebration of the country's 2,500th anniversary in Persepolis, the rise of opposition, and the change of administration in Washington after Carter's 1976 victory, etc.--makes other accounts either obsolete or incomplete. This book should definitely be on the must-read list of any serious student or teacher of modern Iranian history. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. N. Rassekh emeritus, Lewis and Clark College
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2008-11-17:
Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran's ruler from 1941 to 1979-and one of the 20th century's more controversial political figures-gets a spirited if not always compelling defense in this sprawling biography. Afkhami (The Iranian Revolution), an Iranian studies scholar and an official of the shah's regime, paints him as a moderate, progressive leader who championed women's rights, secularism and balanced economic development. He was his own man, not an American puppet, Afkhami argues, strenuously challenging interpretations of the 1953 ousting of the nationalist prime minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, as a CIA-engineered coup. And the crimes of his notorious SAVAK secret police, the author contends, were milder than commonly thought-and anyway, the shah knew little about them. Afkhami corrects conventional views of the shah's reign as merely a despotic prelude to the Islamic revolution, but his perspective seems blinkered by his subject's self-regard. The shah emerges as almost a paragon-devoted to his people and Iran's constitution, undone by his own misguided humanity and restraint in confronting Khomeini's cabal of Islamists and their liberal dupes. When all Iran rises to overthrow him, the reader is as surprised as the shah. Photos. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
"A comprehensive and well-researched reexamination of a well-meaning but tragic figure."
"A comprehensive and well-researched reexamination of a well-meaning but tragic figure."-- Booklist
"A magisterial biography . . . painstakingly researched and meticulously sourced."
"A magisterial biography . . . painstakingly researched and meticulously sourced."-- Iranian Freedom Blog
"An easily accessible book, which should prove useful to people who are interested in the history and politics of modern Middle East."
"An easily accessible book, which should prove useful to people who are interested in the history and politics of modern Middle East."-- The Historian
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, November 2008
Booklist, December 2008
Choice, September 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
This epic biography, a gripping insider's account, is a long-overdue chronicle of the life and times of Mohammad Reza Shah, who ruled from 1941 to 1979 as the last Iranian monarch. Gholam Reza Afkhami uses his unparalleled access to a large number of individuals--including high-ranking figures in the shah's regime, members of his family, and members of the opposition--to depict the unfolding of the shah's life against the forces and events that shaped the development of modern Iran. The first major biography of the Shah in twenty-five years, this richly detailed account provides a radically new perspective on key events in Iranian history, including the 1979 revolution, U.S.-Iran relations, and Iran's nuclear program. It also sheds new light on what now drives political and cultural currents in a country at the heart of today's most perplexing geopolitical dilemmas.
Bowker Data Service Summary
This biography is a chronicle of the life and times of Mohammad Reza Shah who ruled from 1941 to 1979 as the last Iranian monarch. It depicts the unfolding of the Shah's life against the forces and events that shaped the development of modern Iran.
Table of Contents
Preface
Notes on Transliteration and Translations
Father and Son
The Father
Father and Son
The Man
Hard Times
Ascending the Throne
Azerbaijan
Nationalizing Oil
Toward the Abyss
TPAJAX
Securing The Realm
A New Vista
The White Revolution
Women and Rights
Mastering Oil
Commander-in-Chief
Development and Dreams
Gas, Petrochemicals, and Nuclear Energy
Revolution And Irony
Politics and Terror
SAVAK
A Celebration and a Festival
The Rastakhiz Party
The Gathering Storm
"I Heard the Message of Your Revolution"
"Melting Like Snow"
Exile
Trek to Nowhere
The Ayatollah's Shadow
Almost Bartered
Closing in a Dream
Brief Chronology of the Pahlavi Dynasty
Iran's Prime Ministers under the Shah
Principles of Iran's White Revolution
U.S. Ambassadors to Iran, 1941-1979
Notes
Selected Glossary of Terms and Events
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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