Book Review / March 3, 2020
Book Review - All the Shah's Men

All the Shah's Men

An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
By: Stephen Kinzer

Book Reivew

A friend of mine recommended this book, and it was worth the time. It also is a little more fun to review knowing that I have someone I know that has an opinion about it. In the last year, I have read a book on the history of Iran, the history of India, and the history of China. In all three books, the British were involved in these countries, especially in Iran and India. I am slowly hearing the rest of the story of the affects of British Imperialism, and it is troubling. Many people just don't get it why eastern countries don't like the west, but after digging a little deeper in the history books over the last several years, it is no wonder.

Stephen Kinzer does a good job mapping out the concerns that were on the minds of Britain, Iran, and the US. You can see where all the parties are coming from. He also does a good job laying the historical groundwork for the US/British led 1953 coup of Mossadegh's Democratic Iranian Government, describing the actual event, and decades of the aftermath. Kinzer makes clear in his introduction that he thought the coup was a mistake, but he doesn't resort to trying to prove that. He simply lays out the facts and mindsets from all sides and lets the reader judge.

We will never know what would have been, but I believe that even a cursory look at some of these historical events as well as the aftermath would truly enlighten us on the effects of outsiders trying to reconstruct a nation (India's successor states from the British rule - Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh - are another great example of the disaster).

Stephen Kinzer gives footnotes for further reading and gives us his firsthand account of visiting Mossadegh's home on the 49th anniversary of the 1953 coup in the Epilogue. If you consider yourself moderately willing to read important historical books, this one should be on your list to read. It is rather short and easy to read as these things go.

Book Review / Mar 3
Book Review - All the Shah's Men

All the Shah's Men

An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
By: Stephen Kinzer

Book Reivew

A friend of mine recommended this book, and it was worth the time. It also is a little more fun to review knowing that I have someone I know that has an opinion about it. In the last year, I have read a book on the history of Iran, the history of India, and the history of China. In all three books, the British were involved in these countries, especially in Iran and India. I am slowly hearing the rest of the story of the affects of British Imperialism, and it is troubling. Many people just don't get it why eastern countries don't like the west, but after digging a little deeper in the history books over the last several years, it is no wonder.

Stephen Kinzer does a good job mapping out the concerns that were on the minds of Britain, Iran, and the US. You can see where all the parties are coming from. He also does a good job laying the historical groundwork for the US/British led 1953 coup of Mossadegh's Democratic Iranian Government, describing the actual event, and decades of the aftermath. Kinzer makes clear in his introduction that he thought the coup was a mistake, but he doesn't resort to trying to prove that. He simply lays out the facts and mindsets from all sides and lets the reader judge.

We will never know what would have been, but I believe that even a cursory look at some of these historical events as well as the aftermath would truly enlighten us on the effects of outsiders trying to reconstruct a nation (India's successor states from the British rule - Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh - are another great example of the disaster).

Stephen Kinzer gives footnotes for further reading and gives us his firsthand account of visiting Mossadegh's home on the 49th anniversary of the 1953 coup in the Epilogue. If you consider yourself moderately willing to read important historical books, this one should be on your list to read. It is rather short and easy to read as these things go.

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