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

All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer
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it was amazing
bookshelves: history
Recommended to Erik by: Einar Graff
Recommended for: Americans

Although over ninety, Dad is unusually active. He is a docent at the Dundee Historical Society and, thanks to the influence of his Danish wife, Lene, takes courses as a non-degree-seeking student at the Roosevelt University campus out in dreary Schaumburg, Illinois. He tends towards history and political science, having said at one time that he enjoys ganging up with the liberal teachers against his mostly right-wing, fellow suburban students. (Dad always was a pinkish Democrat.) This book was recommended by him after he'd taken some course which used it. He had asked it I'd read it and, having read Kinzer's other book about the overthrow of the Guatemalan government by the C.I.A. and having enjoyed that one, his recommendation was enough for me to obtain the thing. I wasn't disappointed.

The C.I.A. was set up under the Truman administration as an information collection agency of government responsible to the president. Later, when Allen Dulles, brother of Secretary of State Foster Dulles, came to head the agency, it became almost as much a disinformation and destruction agency devoted to its own aggrandizement and the supposed interests of the U.S.A. These interests were, then as now, not the long-term interests of people, but the short-term political interests of politicians representing the American ruling class and corporations. We overthrew the popular governments of Guatemala and of Iran in the interests of the United Fruit Corporation (for which one of the Dulles brothers had worked and in which the other was heavily invested) and of big oil, respectively. The consequences were years of dictatorship and, in the case of Iran, serious and well-founded suspicion towards the United States--as well as a shot in the arm boost for the least savory aspects of the C.I.A. from the Eisenhower period until the present day.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 1, 2004 – Finished Reading
August 5, 2010 – Shelved
August 5, 2010 – Shelved as: history

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message 1: by Samir (new)

Samir Rawas Sarayji I've had this on my bookshelf for ages but never got around to reading it. I'm glad you rated it 5/5, at least I won't be too skeptical when I do finally pick it up.

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