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Ms. Debby Preiser introduces the famed New York Times
Journalist and Author, Mr. Stephen Kinzer for the audience and the cameras of CSPAN cable news.
Oak Park Journal photo

Stephen Kinzer ponders the moment before
addressing the gathering.
Oak Park Journal photo

Stephen Kinzer a gifted writer and speaker captures
the attention and admiration of the audience.
Oak Park Journal photo

Oak Park Trustee Galen Gockel listens to Mr.
Stephen Kinzer's remarks on the Middle East.
Oak Park Journal photo

An Iranian expatriate listens to Mr. Kinzer and later
comments that he was in Tehran when the coup took
place.  Other Iranian citizens thanked Stephen Kinzer
publicly and privately for his writing of the book.
Oak Park Journal photo

Mr. Kinzer signs many books for the audience
and welcomes all quesstions.
Oak Park Journal photo

Oak Park Journal photo

One of best places to find this book, and the store that I would begin
any search with is the new Book Table, right across the street from
the Lake Theater.  The prices in the store are lower than any other in town and their selection is one of the most eclectic to be found anywhere in Chicago...nice people too.
Book Table  (708) 386-9800   
1045 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL

           An American Coup And The Roots
                      Of Middle East Terror
                         By Stephen Kinzer
review by Ed Vincent

“All the Shah’s Men”, by Stephen Kinzer is a must read for
anyone interested in news, history, or just a remarkably good
read.  If William Shakespeare were alive today he would take
either one or more of the true to life characters in Mr. Kinzer’s
work of art and bring them to the stage. 

The trials and tribulations of human existence were well 
defined thousands of years ago and in this historical bit of 
gifted writing and research by Kinzer, we find those same 
motives present in many of our lifetimes and consequences 
for all to bear.  This book should be a prerequisite for anyone
either in the United States Congress or anyone wishing to go
there, for anything but a short vacation visit.  There is room 
for much discussion concerning the Middle East and this book
is an essential tool to begin that dialogue.  Kinzer’s book is
balanced and sensitive to the truth of objective history and
written with the feel of a novel.  Mr. Kinzer has told me that
this may very well be one of his best books and that he was
very pleased to come upon the material.  I think that he is
being modest.  This was a grand undertaking from the start
and Mr. Kinzer achieved his goals.  This is a very topical
read and one that would make a great gift for yourself and
others in your life,  at this time of giving.

When Mr. Kinzer spoke at the new Oak Park Public Library,
and was filmed by CSPAN, the room was packed with admirers
and the curious. 

Mr. Kinzer noted at the start of his talk "There is nothing new in the world other then the history which is not known".
Stephen Kinzer's talk was a mouth watering taste of what was
to follow in the pages of his book.  The audience was filled
with a group of unique citizens, there was a young Iranian woman, born in the United States and thankful for the writing of Mr. Kinzer's, an Iranian gentleman who was in Iran at the time of overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh, and a former CIA operative who was in the dark at the time of the coup.

"The US has come to a position of power so soon, we are not able to comprehend and deal with this dominance."  Mr. Kinzer  went on to explain how the Roman, English and Spanish empires took generations and hundreds of years to reach their
power and ruling dominance.  Our story has a long way to go.

I would highly recommend "All the Shah's Men" as a start
down that road.

             ALL THE SHAH'S MEN
            An American Coup And The Roots
                      Of Middle East Terror
                         By Stephen Kinzer

       Fifty years ago this summer, in a bold and far-reaching covert operation, the CIA overthrew the elected government of Iran. A new book tells the full story of that plot for the first time.

       ALL THE SHAH'S MEN: An American Coup And The Roots Of Middle East Terror (Wiley; July 11, 2003; $24.95/Cloth) by New York Times correspondent Stephen Kinzer, is centered around an hour-by-hour reconstruction of the events of August 1953. It concludes that although the coup seemed successful at first, its "haunting and terrible legacy" is now becoming clear.

       Operation Ajax, as the plot was code-named, reshaped the history of Iran, the Middle East and the world. It restored Mohammad Reza Shah to the Peacock Throne, allowing him to impose a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

       The Islamic Revolution, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under 
its protection.

       "It is not far-fetched," Kinzer asserts in his book, "to draw a line from Operation Ajax through the Shah's repressive regime and the Islamic Revolution to the fireballs that engulfed the World Trade Center in New York."

       Drawing on research in the United States and Iran, and using material from a long-secret CIA report, Kinzer explains the background of the coup and tells how it was carried out.

        It is a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs and secret agents. There are accounts of bribes, staged riots, suitcases full of cash, and midnight meetings between the  Shah and CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt, who was smuggled in and out of the royal palace  under a blanket in the back seat of a car.

        Roosevelt, the grandson of President Theodore Roosevelt, was a real-life James  Bond in an era when CIA agents operated mainly by their wits. After his first coup attempt failed, he organized a second attempt that succeeded three days later.

        The colorful cast of characters includes the lerrified young Shah. who fled his country at the first sign of trouble; General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, father of the Gulf War commander and the radio voice of "Gang Busters," who flew to Tehran on a secret mission that helped set the coup in motion; and the fiery Prime Minister Mohammad
Mossadegh, who outraged the West by nationalizing the immensely profitable Anglo-Iranian Oil Company.

         The British, outraged by the seizure of their oil company, persuaded President Dwight Elsenhower that Mossadegh was leading Iran toward Communism. Elsenhower and Prime Minister Winston Churchill of Great Britain became the coup's main sponsors.

         Brimming with insights into Middle Eastern history and American foreign policy,  ALL THE SHAH'S MEN is an eye-opening look at an event whose unintended consequences—Islamic revolution and violent anti-Americanism—have shaped the  modem world. As the United States assumes an ever-widening role in the Middle East, it is essential reading.


Stephen Kinzer, author of this new book, is a veteran foreign correspondent who has covered more than 50 countries on four continents. He is co-author of "Bitter Fruit: The Untold Story of the CIA Coup in Guatemala," and author of "Blood of Brothers: Life and War in Nicaragua" and "Crescent and Star: Turkey Between Two Worlds."

                              ALL THE SHAH'S MEN
             An American Coup And The Roots Of Middle East Terror
                                  By Stephen Kinzer
                          Wiley, July 11, 2003; $24.95/Cloth
                                 ISBN: 0-471-26517-9

Wiley Books are available at your local bookstore or by calling 1-800-225-5945. In Canada, call 1-800-567-4797.

For the latest on what's happening at Wiley, check out our World Wide web site at:    http://www. -wiley. corn

Q: What do most Iranians think of their Islamic government?
A: The regime is highly unpopular. A huge majority of Iranians oppose it. There is no question that the regime is doomed. The remaining questions are: when will it fall, how will it fall, and what will take its place?

Q: What do they think of the United States? Would they welcome American intervention?
A: Until 1953, most Iranians loved and admired the United States. They despised the Russians and the British, who oppressed and trampled on them, but saw America as the beacon of freedom. That all changed in 1953, when the CIA organized a coup that deposed the last democratic government Iran ever had. Americans have forgotten that episode, but it burns in the consciousness of Iranians. Even most of those who hate their
present government would hate an American-imposed regime even more intensely.

Q: How serious is the current unrest in Iran? Could it lead to another revolution?
A: The unrest is growing steadily and is a sign of the regime's slow collapse. But Iranians have bitter memories of the 1979 Islamic revolution. They joined to overthrow the Shah because they believed nothing could be worse than his dictatorship. Now they realize they were wrong, since the current government is even more tyrannical the old one was. Today, most Iranians want a revolution, but before they give it their support, they want to know what will come afterward.

Q: Would pressure from the United States accelerate the process of change, or would it be counter-productive?
A: American support for any group, party or individual in Iran would be a kiss of death. Bitterness at the United States for having organized the 1953 coup is still intense. Many Iranians blame their last 50 years of dictatorship on the Americans. The United States needs to resist the temptation to become involved in the Iran turmoil. Letting events take their course will lead to the result we want, although perhaps not as quickly as we would

Q: What options are being considered by the Bush administration regarding Iran?  Might we see an American invasion like the one in Iraq?
A: The current upheaval in Iraq is consuming all of the Bush administration's attention these days, and there is no prospect of a military invasion of Iran anytime soon. That could change, however, if Iraq begins to calm down and hard-liners in Washington manage to win President Bush to their side. An American invasion would be a catastrophic folly. It would encourage the most repressive elements in Iran to seize power, using the excuse that they are saving the country from the same Americans who
brought it 50 years of pain and suffering.

Q: Is it true that the Iranian government has sponsored terrorism?
A: The Iranian government is more a collection of different groups than a united regime.  Some of those groups have dedicated themselves to sponsoring terrorism and assassination around the world. I myself covered one of those cases while living in Berlin; a leading opponent of the Iranian regime, along with several colleagues, was killed in a spray of gunfire at a downtown restaurant. Later a German judge concluded that senior Iranian officials including the intelligence chief and the president had personally authorized the murders. Most of the accusations the Bush Administration used to tie Iraq to terrorism were false; in the case of Iran, many are true.

Q: Is it true that Iran is trying to build a nuclear bomb, and if so how dangerous is that?  How should we react?
A: The nuclear power program that the United States is so worried about in Iran was actually begun with American help, while the Shah was in power. At that time we didn't see anything strange about a huge oil producer being so interested in nuclear power. Now we do. Iran's nuclear program is indeed a dangerous threat, but our efforts to mobilize the  world against it are failing. Other countries are telling the United States, "You don't
listen to our concerns any more, and prefer to do whatever you want in the world. So why  should we listen to you concerns?"

 Q: If the current regime in Iran falls, what would take its place?
 A: There are three possible models for government in Iran: religious rule, monarchy, or democracy. People have had their fill of the first two. Iranians are sophisticated and increasingly envious of the prosperity that democracy has brought to other countries. They look back longingly on the democracy they enjoyed until the American intervention of 1953. We think of the United States as a champion of democracy, but as a result of what we did in 1953, Iranians see us as just the opposite.

 Q: Fifty years ago this summer, the CIA overthrew the last democratic government Iran ever had. What has been the long-term effect of that coup? What lessons can we learn from it?
 A: The 1953 coup was intended to safeguard freedom in Iran, but ended 
up destroying it. The story of its terrible after-effects is a stark warning to the United States. Forcing "regime change" often seems like a success at first, but these victories can come back to haunt the victors, often in devastating and tragic ways. This is especially true in the Middle East where tradition, history and religion shape political life in ways that many
 outsiders do not understand.