The Shah by Abbas Milani

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Synopsis

Though his monarchy was toppled in 1979 and he died in 1980, the life of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlevi, the last Shah of Iran, continues to resonate today. Here, internationally respected author Abbas Milani gives us the definitive biography, more than ten years in the making, of the monarch who shaped Iran’s modern age and with it the contemporary politics of the Middle East.
      The Shah’s was a life filled with contradiction—as a social reformer he built schools, increased equality for women, and greatly reduced the power of the Shia clergy. He made Iran a global power, courting Western leaders from Churchill to Carter, and nationalized his country’s many natural resources. But he was deeply conflicted and insecure in his powerful role. Intolerant of political dissent, he was eventually overthrown by the very people whose loyalty he so desperately sought. This comprehensive and gripping account shows us how Iran went from politically moderate monarchy to totalitarian Islamic republic. Milani reveals the complex and sweeping road that would bring the U.S. and Iran to where they are today.  

 

About Abbas Milani

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Abbas Milani is a historian and author. He is the Director of Iranian Studies at Stanford University and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. Milani has written for publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes and has appeared on CNN, the BBC, and NPR, among others. A member of the board of directors of the Iranian Studies Group at MIT, the San Francisco Chronicle has said that "Milani has the ear of Washington insiders." He lives in California.
 
Published January 4, 2011 by Palgrave Macmillan Trade. 497 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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A deep knowledge of Iranian history, especially about the key role the United States has played in its internal affairs since World War II, informs this meaty biography by Iranian-American historian Milani (Iranian Studies/Stanford Univ.).

Jan 04 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shah

Publishers Weekly

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Over the course of almost 40 years, Mohammad Reza Shah was a colossus in Iran, the one constant in a swirl of changing loyalties, political fortunes, and pressures both domestic and international;

Nov 15 2010 | Read Full Review of The Shah

The Wall Street Journal

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But now, with Abbas Milani's "The Shah," we have a finely wrought, enlightening biography of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who ruled Iran from 1941 to 1979 and whose policies inadvertently brought on the Iranian upheaval.

Jan 19 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shah

The Washington Times

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Abbas Milani has taken on a hard task: to explain how and why the rule of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1919-1980) in Iran came to an inglorious and messy end.

Feb 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shah

Los Angeles Times

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It was uncanny to read the closing chapters of this splendidly detailed biography of the last shah of Iran while tumultuous and jubilant crowds in Egypt drove Hosni Mubarak from power.The parallels were so close they seemed to come out of some fanciful fiction.

Feb 20 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shah

San Francisco Chronicle

Nearly every chapter in "The Shah," Abbas Milani's skillful biography of Iran's last king, begins with a phrase from Shakespeare's "King Richard II," about a tragic figure who believes he is ordained by God to lead his people.

Jan 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shah

Bookmarks Magazine

Here, internationally respected author Abbas Milani gives us the definitive biography, more than ten years in the making, of the monarch who shaped Iran’s modern age and with it the contemporary politics of the Middle East.
The Shah’s was a life filled with contradiction—as a ...

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Shah

Project MUSE

Abbas Milani, the Iranian-American director of the Iranian Studies Program at Stanford University as well as research fellow at the Hoover Institution, has written an insightful and timely biography of the last shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

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Project MUSE

Reading Abbas Milani's compelling biography The Shah is a rewarding yet dispiriting journey, as it might be for its author.

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