In a cloak-and-dagger story of spies, saboteurs, and secret agents, Kinzer reveals the involvement of Eisenhower, Churchill, Kermit Roosevelt, and the CIA in Operation Ajax, which restored Mohammad Reza Shah to power. Reza imposed a tyranny that ultimately sparked the Islamic Revolution of 1979 which, in turn, inspired fundamentalists throughout the Muslim world, including the Taliban and terrorists who thrived under its protection.
… Mr. Kinzer, a veteran correspondent for The New York Times whose last foreign posting was in Istanbul (where he also covered Iran), decided to take another look at this well-known episode. He does so with a keen journalistic eye, and with a novelist's pen. In what is a very gripping read, he recounts the story of the coup and how it came about. In the process, he reveals much about Iran's history, paints a sharp portrait of British colonialism just at the point of its ultimate collapse, and lays bare the debate on how the United States should engage the world. Ivo H. Daalder