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The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
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Henry Holt and Co. 2016
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An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration
In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers. Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family. Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
08/02/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780805098983
ASIN:
B01AGFYV1C
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Andrew Scott Cooper. (2016). The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Andrew Scott Cooper. 2016. The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran. Henry Holt and Co.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Andrew Scott Cooper, The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran. Henry Holt and Co, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Andrew Scott Cooper. The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran. Henry Holt and Co, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration
In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers. Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account...

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title
The Fall of Heaven
fullDescription

An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration
In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers. Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family. Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

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reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        May 30, 2016
        Cooper (The Oil Kings), a scholar of oil markets and U.S.-Iran relations, recounts the rise and fall of Iran’s glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, challenging common characterizations of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi as a brutal dictator. Focusing on the last Shah’s rule, Cooper explains the founding of the Pahlavi monarchy and details the various achievements of the White Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, “one of the 20th century’s great experiments in liberal social and economic reform.” These transformed Iran “from a semifeudal baron state into a modern industrial powerhouse” while also encompassing various social advances in women’s rights, education, health care, and more. Such reforms, Cooper argues, qualify the Western-oriented Shah as more of a benevolent autocrat than a tyrant. The first part of the book is a sweeping survey of the Shah’s time in power; the second is a riveting day-by-day account of the 1978–1979 revolution that toppled the monarchy. Based on various documentary sources as well as impressive access to royalists, revolutionaries, Queen Farah Pahlavi, and various U.S. officials, this thorough work is immensely detailed yet readable and continuously engaging. Cooper’s attempts to downplay the regime’s abuses are unconvincing, but he provides a fascinating, distinctive, and personal account of the Shah and his rule.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        Starred review from June 1, 2016
        A sympathetic account of the imperial couple of the Peacock Throne portrayed as so blindly benevolent that they did not see the Iranian Revolution coming. Cooper (The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran, and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, 2011), an American scholar of Iranian history, presents the drama of the Pahlavi dynasty in nearly tender terms, and the last shah, Mohammad Reza (1919-1980), as a sentimental yet savvy ruler who desired the well-being of his Persian empire above all. Inheriting the enormous task of modernizing his impoverished, largely illiterate people after the rule of his father, Reza Shah, the formidable general who abdicated in favor of his son in 1941, the young shah had to juggle the interests of the colonial powers intent on the country's oil wealth and foil the pointed criticism that he was their lackey. Indeed, his temporary forced exile during the CIA-backed coup of his political nemesis Mohammad Mossadeq in August 1953 would come to haunt him in the tensions leading up to the revolutionary instability of 1978. Cooper concentrates on the fraught years of the 1970s, when the shah, then in his 50s and soon to be diagnosed with incurable lymphoma, was able to engineer the "oil shock" of 1973, flooding the country with vast wealth and allowing him and his elegant wife to pursue pet projects in engineering, literacy, health care, women's rights, art, and culture. The author delves intimately into the life of the leader who believed firmly in the separation of church and state and who seemed stern and humorless to the public yet was a devoted father of five children and had no patience for the imams dragging their feet on reforms. Cooper addresses many of what he believes are misconceptions of the regime, such as the grossly inflated numbers of those imprisoned and executed by the shah's notorious secret police as well as the shah's consent to the use of force on demonstrators. A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        June 1, 2016
        Historians should resist the urge to read history backward and view events as inevitable, an error many have made regarding the fall of the Shah of Iran and his replacement by an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Khomeini. According to this scenario, the Pahlavi dynasty was doomed by its brutality, corruption, and the arrogance of Mohammad Reza Shah. But Cooper (The Oil Kings, 2011) provides an expert and more nuanced view of the Shah, his regime, and its collapse. As he illustrates, the Shah was autocratic without apology, and could be indecisive and prone to wallowing in self-pity. Yet, he was devoted to modernizing his country and made genuine efforts to reach compromises with moderate opposition groups; he even tried to rein inhis dreaded secret police. His fall was the result of a confluence of external and internal factors, including, of course, the effectiveness and fanatic determination of Islamic extremists as well as the ambivalence of the U.S. government. This is a fine revisionist study of major world events that continue to influence the fate of the Middle East.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        June 1, 2016

        Reverberations from the Iranian Revolution of 1979, which led to the fall of the U.S.-supported Pahlavi dynasty, are still felt throughout the region. Cooper (political science, Columbia Univ.; The Oil Kings) chronicles Mohammed Reza Pahlavi's reign from 1941 to 1979; an autocratic rule balanced with progressive social and economic reforms. The author's substantial research uncovers a multilayered government, filled with religious and political intrigue. The Shah is revealed to be a sympathetic, flawed ruler who believed he had the mandate of heaven as the source of his power, only to see his drive to modernity set back by extremists. Ayatollah Khomeini, who heralded the revolution and became the first Supreme Leader of Iran, is portrayed as a ruthless tyrant who used the media to represent himself as a peace-loving cleric. The American diplomatic and intelligence communities displayed an astounding lack of understanding of Iran's religious and political landscape, with disastrous results. Extensive insights from Mohammed's wife, Farah Pahlavi, add dimension to this portrait of Iran under the Shah's rule. VERDICT A well-researched and fascinating book for readers interested in the history of Iran and the Middle East, current Iranian affairs, and the history of fundamentalist terrorism. [See Prepub Alert, 1/25/16.]--Laurie Unger Skinner, Coll. of Lake Cty., Waukegan, IL

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        February 15, 2016

        When it comes to Iran, Cooper knows his stuff; author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East and once a columnist for PBS/Frontline's Tehran Bureau, he writes and lectures frequently on the history of U.S.-Iranian relations. Here he assays the rise and particularly the fall of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, as told from the perspectives of key Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; U.S. Ambassador William Sullivan and his embassy staff; and the Empress Farah, with whose cooperation this book was written.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

subtitle
The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
popularity
120
publisher
Henry Holt and Co.
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