By Stephen Kinzer
With an exhilarating narrative that sheds a lot mild on contemporary occasions, this nationwide bestseller brings to lifestyles the 1953 CIA coup in Iran that ousted the country’s elected leading minister, ushered in a quarter-century of brutal rule lower than the Shah, and influenced the increase of Islamic fundamentalism and anti-Americanism within the center East. chosen as the best books of the yr by means of the Washington Post and The Economist, it now encompasses a new preface by means 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
Qxd 5/2/03 9:01 AM Page 22 22 ALL THE SHAH’S MEN By the time of the Arab conquest, Persians already had long experience in assimilating foreign cultures, and whenever they did so, they shaped those cultures to their liking or took certain parts while resisting others. So it was when they were forced to adopt Islam. They had no choice but to accept Mohammad as God’s prophet and the Koran as God’s word, but over a period of centuries they fashioned an interpretation of Islam quite different from that of their Arab conquerors.
This dynasty, known as the Achaemenians, built the greatest empire of its era. C. it embraced the eastern Mediterranean from Greece through modern-day Turkey, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt, and Libya and stretched eastward across the Caucasus to the banks of the Indus. Cyrus called it Persia because it sprang from his own base in Pars. The tolerant and all-embracing approach to life and politics for which Achaemenian emperors were known sprang in part from their connection to the Zoroastrian faith, which holds that the sacred responsibility of every human being is to work toward establishing social justice on earth.
With his people on the brink of revolt, Muzzaffar al-Din Shah had no choice but to accept the idea that Iran should have a parliament. After agreeing, however, he began to stall and for several months did nothing to bring the idea to fruition. The protest movement swelled anew. Islamic clerics took a leading role. Some invoked the authority of the Shiite martyr Hussein, vowing to defend the poor even if it meant exposing themselves, as he did, to the sword of evil. Thrilled by this rhetoric, throngs of people took to the streets in the summer of 1906.