Reddit Reddit reviews All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror

We found 42 Reddit comments about All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

American History
United States History
All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
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42 Reddit comments about All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror:

u/OJ_287 · 173 pointsr/todayilearned

Sure, and how about the overthrow of the democratically elected Mosaddegh in Iran in 1952? Or how about the countless meddling in Central and South America? Speaking domestically, why is it that they always infiltrate peaceful groups of citizens and then play the role of provocateur?

The U.S. federal government should basically never be trusted and yet it seems each generation falls prey to their lies and propaganda - especially with regard to foreign policy. WMD's anyone? The American citizenry should always view everything the government says with an inherent distrust. That should be the default position of the citizenry. They have lost the privilege of being trusted. They don't work for or serve the interests of average Americans in the least. When the corporate/MIC/establishment elite want to meddle in another countries affairs or start a war, they will do whatever lying or black bag operations they need to in order to achieve their objective. They've done it plenty before and they will continue doing it until we refuse to allow it any more.

The U.S. government has put down so many populist movements and meddled/overthrown so many governments in the name of "making the world safe for capitalism" it's crazy. No other country even comes close. Yes, that's right, not democracy - that is the biggest lie of them all. The U.S. couldn't give two shits about democracy. Not even here at home. They just want to keep us believing that we live in a democracy and keep us participating in their rigged system so that we won't revolt.

u/Human_Dilophosaur · 98 pointsr/AskHistorians

A good resource in the first half of the narration--Mossadegh's rise to power, nationalization of oil resources, and overthrow--is All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer. Just be aware that the author is writing partly to make a political point about regime change.

The film is very accurate, although, as you said, a bit simplified in its description. The early 20th century rulers of Iran signed a treaty with Britain allowing the Anglo-Iranian Oil Corporation (later BP) essentially unfettered access to the country's oil resources. Muhammed Mossadegh successful rose to power as a nationalist and populist prime minister. In 1951, he nationalized Anglo-Iranian.

This led to severe diplomatic tensions between Iran and the UK, in which the UK considered using military force, but ultimately decided to overthrow Mossadegh through a coup. Iran then cut diplomatic relations with the UK, expelling most of their spies in the process. The UK was able to convince US President Dwight Eisenhower through his Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and the CIA director, his brother Allen Dulles, to carry out the coup on behalf of the UK. The Americans were concerned that Mossadegh's nationalization of industries was a step on a road to communism, and they were concerned they might lose Iran's oil resources to the Soviet sphere of influence as a result.

Kermit Roosevelt Jr, a CIA officer in Iran, executed Operation Ajax in 1953, which overthrew Mossadegh's government and reinstalled Mohammed Reza Pahlavi as king ("shah") of Iran under the guise of a popular uprising.

This is, of course, still a simplification, but hopefully provides a little more detail. Maybe somebody else can provide some input on the 1979 revolution?

Edit: Corrected as per willpredun.

u/Basoom01267 · 32 pointsr/OldSchoolCool

Iran had a secularist, western style democracy. Then it demanded to audit the books of BP, so the CIA overthrew it and installed a dictator who would let the west keep looting the countries oil.

I recommend this book on the subject :

u/drunkentune · 19 pointsr/worldnews

If you're interested in learning more about the history surrounding Operation Ajax and the overthrow of Mosadegh, I recommend reading All the Shah's Men.

u/dhpye · 13 pointsr/EndlessWar

These disclosures are incomplete, and leave out some gory details - such as when the CIA sponsored a riot, then got the chief of police to fire on the protesters, all to create the impression that Iran was falling into chaos. The CIA helped design the impression of imminent Communist takeover, in order to justify their actions. They manipulated Eisenhower and Truman, as much as they did the Iranians. All the Shah's Men is a great book on the subject.

What is really sad is, prior to the coup, the US was widely adored in Iran as a non-colonial western power. All that Mosaddegh was asking for was the same partnership that the US had created with Aramco in Saudi Arabia: a 50/50 split of profits between the state and its western concessionaires. If the US had been consistent in applying its values, Iran could easily be an ally today.

As it stands, the only winners to emerge from the CIA's machinations have been the national security apparatus, and the muslim fanatics - in the long term, even the oil industry would have been better off sharing with Iran, rather than pillaging and being thrown out.

u/NomadFH · 9 pointsr/army

You really have to study specific conflicts rather than generalized mid-east stuff. A lot of guys will read up on Iraq or Afghanistan before deploying there, but way fewer people will research Iran, which I actually consider the most important influence in the middle east.

All the Shah's men is a really good one. Try to look at books that aren't just "this is why this country is bad and scary" but highlight the culture of those countries and highlight the politics of everything.

u/mm242jr · 8 pointsr/politics

China is the newest hegemony. The US didn't have a choice in Germany or Japan after WWII, since it was either step in or let Stalin take over. Read this fascinating article:

> Stalin had been secretly plotting an offensive against Hitler’s Germany, and would have invaded in September 1941, or at the latest by 1942. Stalin ... wanted Hitler to destroy democracy in Europe, in the manner of an icebreaker, thereby clearing the way for world communism. The book undermined the idea that the USSR was an innocent party, dragged into the second world war. Russian liberals supported Suvorov’s thesis; it now has broad acceptance among historians

The US was founded by slaveowners using the pretext of representation, but it was all about commerce. They put in place a horrific non-democratic system, the Electoral College. The US has intervened repeatedly in democracies and put in place brutal regimes. Read All The Shah's Men, for example.

One reason you might have started with a rosy view is that republicans control how US history is taught to schools across the country; see last two chapters of this book.

As for California, your Congressional representatives are amazing. I'm counting on them to nail that fucking orange traitor.

To counter the criticism above, it was the US that finally shoved the UN aside in Bosnia and stopped the genocide with a few well-placed missiles, albeit three years and 100,000 civilians too late, and it was the US that shoved the UN aside very early when Serbia attacked Kosovo later in that same decade. Fucking Kofi Annan and his inaction in Rwanda... (The hero of that story is Canadian: Romeo Dallaire.)

u/mamapycb · 7 pointsr/PoliticalDiscussion

1949: The First Israelis is a good one for Israel.

All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror This one is a good primer to understand the politics that got america so deeply involved in the middle east.

u/glasdon_pm · 7 pointsr/videos

You should read All the Shah's Men.

u/LaunchThePolaris · 5 pointsr/todayilearned

Can't forget about the CIA sponsored coup in Iran! Probably the biggest mistake in American history.

u/fedel-constro · 5 pointsr/DebateReligion

I know I'm late to the party and there are a lot of good answers, and there are a lot of "hur der cause koran" replies...

This isn't so much on the extremism rise in Islam but more to the anti-western sentiment. This is more of a summary and lacking a lot of detail but a lot of it can be traced back to Operation Ajax in 1953 where MI6, with the help of the CIA, decided to overthrow the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh and put "their guy" (the Shah) in charge because Mosaddegh wanted to nationalize Iranian oil, thus making AIOC (now part of BP) pay more taxes if they wanted to drill in Iran.

It is hard to make a TLDR to the situation in Iran between the coup and the revolution in 1979 but essentially. Shah turned out to be a dick as a ruler, people were pissed at the US and GB for helping force the pro west regime change, started gathering in mosques since the Shah banned public gatherings due to riots, anti-west / radical clerics get into the heads of people that are pissed and things start going downhill from there.

Now you have a hard anti-west sentiment growing around the region and the west essentially cock blocking any attempt at people getting back on their feet so you have a lot of poor, uneducated people that have a lot of hate toward the US. They may not be completely sure why but as is the case with most extremely uneducated people they listen to what they consider to be smart people, in this case the clerics who are telling them to hate the US even more. A lot of the terrorists in the field (the meat shields sent out to die) are illiterate and couldn't read the Koran if you put it in front of them so they only know what they are told.

It doesn't help the US when it decides to go in every few years and bomb things back to the stone age. There may be justification to some of the bombing like removing someone who is truly bad but some of the people that live there don't see it that way, obviously. All they see is the US rolling in with their tanks blowing their houses and killing their children. This doesn't justify what the terrorists are doing by any means in my opinion but it may help shed some light on why they are doing it.

The more detailed read you could start with:
1953 Iranian coup d'état - Wiki

Steven Kinzer's - All the Shah's Men and Overthrow are also pretty good.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/todayilearned

All of you should read this, he pretty much wrote the best book detailing the history and the operation:

u/kingofstyyyyle · 2 pointsr/ChapoTrapHouse

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

u/duggatron · 2 pointsr/worldnews

This has been known for a long time, and there are several books on it. Stephen Kinzer's All the Shah's Men covers the events leading up to the coup and how it developed.

u/Jackdaws7 · 2 pointsr/worldnews

Do yourself a favor and read this book. If anyone wants an objective, historical look at the coup in Iran I highly recommend "All the Shah's Men".

u/cryptozypto · 2 pointsr/worldnews

No issue being biased to the facts. For those who want to know more about how the US fucked over the Middle East, read this book.

u/exoriare · 2 pointsr/worldpolitics

While the CIA's participation in the coup was well known, it's not often recognized how the Dulles brothers intentionally used the CIA to subvert the agenda of both President Truman and Eisenhower.

In 1952, the CIA spent 10% of it's entire global budget in Iran, bribing anyone in any position of power. The bribed Islamic leaders to protest, and then bribed the chief of Tehran's police to violently quash the protests (the police slaughtered a dozen protesters, though we have no evidence that this was part of the CIA's plan).

Truman sent his trusted advisor Averell Harriman to Tehran to figure out what was going on, and he was astonished to be greeted by mobs that called him out by name ("Death to Harriman! Death to the USA!"). The CIA-sponsored unrest convinced him that the country was on the brink of erupting into chaos.

It was the same thing when Eisenhower took office - he initially placed all the blame on the UK's obstinate refusal to negotiate oil profits with Iran. The US had just established ARAMCO in Saudi Arabia, with a 50/50 split of oil revenues, but the British insisted they would not pay one penny more. Eisenhower sympathized with Mossadegh, and hoped to help him see the economic crisis through, saying "I want to give him ten million bucks."

Unfortunately, Allan Dulles used the CIA to further flame the chaos, then pointed to the possibility that Iran could be taken over by Communists. Eisenhower gave up, allowing the CIA to pursue their agenda for regime change. (Dulles went on to use the same ploy when he next found himself with a newbie president - this was the Bay of Pigs fiasco that JFK fired him for).

Prior to the coup, the US was widely adored in Iran. Unlike the French & British, the US had no history of oppressive colonialism, and the fair deal offered to the Saudis suggested that the US would be a great partner. The CIA smashed this promising future into a thousand pieces and unleashed a legacy of terror that we're still dealing with today.

u/sharghzadeh · 2 pointsr/iran
u/stephinrazin · 1 pointr/todayilearned

I suggest reading All the Shah's Men. It goes into detail about the conspiracy to remove Mossadegh.

u/pru_man · 1 pointr/todayilearned

There's an informative book titled All the Shah's Men that tells the story. It's been a while since I read it, but it was very engaging and well written. It is slanted towards the American involvement, but discusses in some detail Britain's coercion of the U.S. to join resources.

u/mjrspork · 1 pointr/todayilearned

For anyone interested to learn more than this wikipedia article about Iran. I recommend All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. It is an excellent book that talks about how exactly the coup happened (In detail) and some of the leadup to the 1979 Revolution. (Also great in Audiobook form!)

u/Indigoes · 1 pointr/financialindependence

Well, arguing that you “should” have a moral compunction to do anything is a virtually impossible task, because morals are internal motivation. I can try to appeal to those morals through guilt (which you don’t like), though calculating marginal utility and appealing to your sense of community (the EA approach, which you don’t like), or by demonstrating that you did benefit from other people (which I will continue to try). But if you truly believe that you are entitled to everything you have and not only owe nothing to people to whom you profited from (because that’s the way the world works) and do not wish to address disparities even though the cost to you is much less than the benefit to someone else (because it’s yours and you worked for it), then you are free of moral compunction and I can’t change your mind. That’s why this is usually the provenance of religion, which promises a punishment from a higher being to encourage what many societies have defined as “the right thing to do.”

First, I would like to agree with you about capitalism as a force for good. The expansion of globalized trade and capitalist economies has made the people on this planet healthier and wealthier than at any other time in human history. Those gains have been distributed, but they have not been equally distributed, and as a result, there is massive global inequality both between and within nations. And actually, the OECD suggests economic strategies by which lessened inequality promotes more growth, growing the pie for everyone (so the pursuit of maximizing only profits at the expense of other developments is not necessarily the greatest global good).

That being said, I will address your three points.

The most important is #2. The idea of “business-friendly values” is a very popular one, but values alone cannot make an economy thrive (or a government or a society) without institutions that protect and promote those values. It is not at all clear that implementing “western values” create prosperity in any kind of automatic way, and certainly not without protective institutions. In addition, it is rare for people in positions of power to voluntarily give up that power, and so disenfranchised people tend to remain disenfranchised. I would say that in your example of immigrants that come to the “Western world” and prosper can do so not because of their values, but because of the institutions that allow that to happen. I suggest Acemoglu and Robinson's Why Nations Fail and Paul Collier's The Bottom Billion as further reading.

It’s also part of the reason that innovation tends to come from a subset of economies. Countries that innovate, have good institutions, and invest in education tend to have more innovators, find a balance between protection of profit and distribution, and make more innovators. There is also an incentive to oppress innovation on discoveries outside of the original innovation centers, which is why we have overzealous patent protection and unequal business agreements that use proprietary tech (Point #1).

Which brings me to the idea that international business can perpetuate disenfranchisement. Many companies use economic power to subvert the power of the people in order to protect their profits, whether through appropriating the use of force or through lobbying elected officials. BP lobbied the US and the UK to overthrow the democratically-elected government of Iran to prevent oil fields from being nationalized (and resource profits sent overseas) in 1953. The United Fruit Company convinced the Eisenhower administration to overthrow the government of Guatemala in 1954 to avoid agrarian reform policies. In 2007, Chiquita banana admitted to funding a terrorist organization in Colombia to protect their interests. Domino Sugar today refuses to comply with labor protections in the CAFTA agreements, using disenfranchised Haitian-Dominicans to harvest sugarcane (part 1) (part 2). Conflict minerals in the DRC and Zimbabwe are still used in a large proportion of electronics. Nestle still uses child labor to harvest cacao in the Ivory Coast.

Rich countries are not immune. Fossil fuel lobbying in the US is a real and problematic thing that is bad for the earth and bad for the green energy industry.

So though it’s true that you did not personally oppress any Tanzanians or Iranians or Koreans (or Guatemalans or Colombians or Haitian-Americans or Congolese or Zimbabweans or Cote-d’Ivorians) (Point #1), if you made money as a shareholder of those companies (or consumed their products), then you profited from the unethical behavior of those companies. As a direct result of those business decisions, people in other countries received less money and you received more. Period. I don’t think that this necessarily makes you a perpetrator, but I think that it does make you complicit.

If you consider this kind of capitalistic profiteering ethical (or “the way the world works”), I can agree that you do not have a moral compunction to support disenfranchised people and reject these company behaviors. However, if you think that any of these actions are morally wrong, then you should feel guilty from profiting off of them. (And I am speaking explicitly about investment income here).

Even if you do not profit from stocks in those companies, you may profit as a consumer – when you buy cheap gas or bananas. Taxes that the companies paid may have supported your elementary school. Benefits from medical protections may have been reinvested in new therapies that cured your grandmother’s cancer. The global economy is complex. But generally, the people who are already rich are those who reap a larger share of the benefits.

If you believe that this is morally acceptable (or “the way the world works”), then you do not have a moral compunction to donate to charity.

However, if you do have a problem with these behaviors and you feel morally uncomfortable with the results, you have two routes to address the issues, and both routes should be followed at the same time: to ameliorate the effects through global giving AND to pursue system reform to make it stop happening.

u/Chrussell · 1 pointr/hiphopheads

I've been on audio books a lot lately.

Recently I've read 500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars, by Kurt Eichenwald. Great book that I highly recommend.

Now I'm just finishing up Lawrence in Arabia by Scott Anderson. Great look at the Middle East during WWI, the secret deals that went on, the Arab Revolt, Zionism and Standard Oil.

Also just picked up The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom by Sandra Mackey and The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation by the same person. Also got All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror.

If anyone got any recommendations I'm interested in books on the Mongol invasions. Also wanted to get Weight by Darryl Reed but don't feel like spending $400 or some bullshit on it.

u/fatphok · 1 pointr/worldnews

Please check out All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer. It is brilliant.

u/jackrousseau · 1 pointr/worldpolitics

> before that it was the Soviet Union

The USSR was a competitor in destabilization for a few decades, but aside from a few places in Africa its influence was generally not as powerful or as disruptive as the West.

An excellent example: (but fuck Amazon, don't buy anything from them)

> that doesn't mean that they wouldn't still be an ideological threat in the region if they hadn't gotten lucky enough to get their hands on these things.

They're made up of ex-Ba'ath officers and disgruntled Sunnis. If America didn't invade Iraq how would IS ever exist? There is a direct line from the invasion in 2003 and their presence today.

u/deckard_campell · 1 pointr/history

All the Shah's Men is a great book about American interventions in Iran and it's aftermath(s).

Charlie Wilson's War (the book) is the amazing tale about how US got involved in Afghanistan. very well researched and fun to read.

There is a free lecture course given by a Stanford professor "History of the International System" if he'd prefer to listen. free on iTunes, and i'd imagine elsewhere

u/Cartosys · 1 pointr/videos

Also for those that are interested in an in-depth look is the book All the Shah's Men. A great detailed account of these events.

u/FormulaZeno · 1 pointr/MilitaryHistory

I read 'All The Shah's Men' by Stephen Kinzer back in university, and I thought it was pretty informative.

You can find it here:

u/NastyNate4 · 1 pointr/CFA

Working through the German tree on Duolingo and reading All the Shah's Men.

u/sugarhangover · 1 pointr/Needafriend

Check out All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer.
It's an easy and compelling read which ought to raise many questions and spur further curiosity on the subject. If you get through that, try giving this gem a go. It's an easy read that give a sweeping overview of religious developments through the region. Many debatable points made by the author, but an easy starting point to branch out from.

I don't rant much on the topic. Generally the ranting people are oversimplifying matters and attempting to reconcile their personal bias with reality. Be attentive of the people willing to step back and question what they think they know about this diverse region.

u/dafoe · 1 pointr/politics

I have read the rebuttal after I finished reading the book. If you read it, you will find that the rebuttal is just some vague bullshit that debates minor points and that it does not really disprove the main point of the author, which is disaster economics.

The book I linked does go over the top, but the gist of it is true. Read Stephen Kinzer's overthrow and All the shah's men and you can verify most of the stuff from the Naomi Klein's book.

u/Briannatron · 1 pointr/booksuggestions

All the Shah's Men is about the CIA coup that deposed Iran's first democratically elected prime minister. Great read.

u/Zeuxis5 · 1 pointr/history

All the Shah’s Men by Stephen Kinzer was a good read, but I’m not quite sure it is exactly what you are looking for.’s+men&qid=1564445384&s=books&sr=1-2

u/TheThirdWhey · 1 pointr/ImGoingToHellForThis

Well I think I did make factual claims, but I definitely didn't justify them to a sufficient extent. Here are a couple of books which develop the only possibly contentious claim, that the U.S. and U.K. backed overthrow of Mossadegh led inexorably to the Islamic revolution:

I apologise that I can't really go into depth on this topic myself; frankly I'm not knowledgeable enough to come close to doing the argument justice, and I have simply drawn my conclusions from the existing available scholarship, such as the above.

It should be noted, however, that this is not a particularly controversial position; I'm not a historian and haven't studied history beyond the undergraduate level, or modern history at all, but as far as I'm aware there aren't many academic sources that would contradict the claim that the overthrow of Mossadegh and the subsequent perception of the Shah as a Western lapdog were significant contributing factors to the revolution of '79.

u/wederty6h6 · 1 pointr/pics

>This all happened because an Anglo-American alliance crushed Iranian efforts to self-govern and installed a puppet who would serve the interests of international petrochemical companies.

not even slightly what happened. that's not even close. lot's of people think they know what happened, but very few ever bothered to read a book or two about it.

anglo-persian oil never got back in to iran. they were done the moment it happened.
and the Shah is the one who led the oil embargo in the 1970s that lead to massive stagflation in the 1970s and 1980s.

the u.s. was involved in the coup, ran the coup actually, the brits were gone at that point, and basically only through money, about $1 million dollars, the rest was all popular Iranian support for the shah, and the u.s. and the CIA did it exclusively because of fear of the communist element (the Tudeh party that the shah had banned and Mosaddegh was courting) that was part of national front.

and the Shah was the modernizing element in all events. he and his father were the ones who pushed the reforms that gave women those rights in all events. not some grass routes iranian liberalism. his father went into the mosques and whipped the imams a one point. and then the shah pushed through the right for women to vote and other reforms in the 50s and 60s and 70s.

you have it both ways. that it us our fault for the shah, the modernizer in a 7th century world, and the backlash. it's retarded. and yall should read a book.

these are three diffrenet ones, all with varying viewpoints

u/LaszloK · 0 pointsr/

You should read All the Shah's Men, it's a real eye opener.

u/yaix · 0 pointsr/worldnews

/u/drunkentune just did for the history surrounding Operation Ajax and the overthrow of Mosadegh: All the Shah's Men

But for the entire thing, from the late 40s up until the last Iraq war, I don't know any book, sorry.

u/bigger_than_jesus · -1 pointsr/pics