The Fall of Heaven
The Shah of Iran was a leader, whose name still echoes through the Middle East and the United States. His fall from power would be due to a religious revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, but also economic woes, class tension and alleged human rights abuses committed by the Shah’s Intelligence Service, the SAVAK. Time has come to a re-assessment of the Shah’s reign, the extravagance of the Shah’s lifestyle with his wife, Empress Farah and his attempts at reform. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was the son of the powerful Reza Pahlavi, who became Prime Minister in 1923, who would oversee Iran becoming a modern state. The outbreak of World War II and internal conflicts would lead to Reza’s stepping down and Mohammad taking control of Iran. Mohammad had been educated abroad and matured while away from home. Mohammad’s reign would be turbulent with several failed marriages failing to yield a male successor, along with several assassination attempts. The seeds for the tragic conclusion in 1979 would be sown in 1953, the oil companies had been nationalized, Prime Minister Mossadegh would be seen as a socialist threat to the Oil companies and to the Pahlavi dynasty. The Shah would leave, while Operation Ajax overseen by the CIA would lead to the overthrow of Mossadegh. The Shah’s throne would be secure, his marriage to Farah in 1959 would lead to the birth of a son. The 1960s through 1970s would bear witness to the rumblings of discontent particularly among the clerics, led by Ayatollah Khomeini. The Shah would try to be diplomatic in his exiling of Khomeini, but this would ultimately lead to his undoing. Pahlavi wanted to see modernization, reform, but radical Islamic Fundamentalism would overshadow this. Time would be running out.
Andrew Scott Cooper’s The Fall of Heaven takes the reader on a trip to a country that is often misunderstood, culturally, religiously, and many other ways. The Shah and his wife have been viewed as corrupt, decadent, immoral and other unflattering ways. Cooper has written a book that examines the Pahlavis more in depth, shown them with more humanity…The human rights abuses were overblown, the extravagance matched with their generosity and warmth. The Shah was intelligent, religious, but also indecisive, compromising. The world they inhabited would not always be understanding or patient, this would all lead to the inevitable overthrow and discord that still resonates today. A must read for anyone looking to understand Iran.
|Author||Andrew Scott Cooper|
|Page Count||608 pages|
|Publisher||Henry Holt and Co.|
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