Preface to the 2008 Edition: The Folly of Attacking Iran. Preface. Acknowledgments. Notes on Usage. 1. Good Evening, Mr. Roosevelt. 2. Curse This Fate. 3. The Last Drop of the Nation's Blood. 4. A Wave of Oil. 5. His Master's Orders. 6. Unseen Enemies Everywhere. 7. You Do Not Know How Evil They Are. 8. An Immensely Shrewd Old Man. 9. Block Headed British. 10. Pull Up Your Socks and Get Going. 11. I Knew It! They Love Me! 12. Purring Like a Giant Cat. Epilogue. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
Stephen Kinzer is an award-winning foreign correspondent who has worked in more than fifty countries. He has been New York Times bureau chief in Istanbul, Berlin, and Managua, Nicaragua. His books include Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds .
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 Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.