Shah of Shahs

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Vintage International, 1992 - History - 152 pages
5 Reviews
In Shah of Shahs Kapuscinski brings a mythographer's perspective and a novelist's virtuosity to bear on the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, one of the most infamous of the United States' client-dictators, who resolved to transform his country into "a second America in a generation," only to be toppled virtually overnight. From his vantage point at the break-up of the old regime, Kapuscinski gives us a compelling history of conspiracy, repression, fanatacism, and revolution.

Translated from the Polish by William R. Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.

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February 2008. Allentown. 3.5* Kapuscinski is a great writer. I've been aware of him for some time, categorized his stuff in the "dangerous travel" genre. He seems very honest, and experienced. To understand today's Iran, read this.

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User Review  - Alissa - Goodreads

This was a interesting look at Iran and a slice of its history. I really enjoyed the first two-thirds of the book which explored some of the culture and looked at the history which led up to the ... Read full review

About the author (1992)

Ryszard Kapuscinski was born in Pinsk, a city now in Belarus on March 4, 1932. He received a master's degree in history from the University of Warsaw. He worked for the Communist journal Sztandar Mlodych, The Flag of Youth. He wrote an article describing the misery and despair of steel workers at a new steel plant outside of Krakow that the party bosses had extolled as a showpiece of proletarian culture. He was fired and forced into hiding. Later his findings were confirmed by a blue-ribbon task force and he was awarded Poland's Golden Cross of Merit. In 1962, PAP, the Polish news agency, appointed him its only correspondent in the third world. His articles about third world conflicts eventually appeared in a series of books including The Emperor: Downfall of an Autocrat, about the lapsed life of Haile Selassie's imperial court; The Soccer War, which dealt with Latin American conflicts; Another Day of Life, about Angola's civil war; Shah of Shahs, about the rise and fall of Iran's last monarch; and Imperium, an account of his travels through Russia and its neighbors after the collapse of the Soviet Union. He also wrote for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and Granta. In 1981, the government of General Wojciech Jaruzelski stripped him of his journalistic credentials after he committed himself to the Solidarity trade union movement. He then began working with underground publishers, contributing poems, and supporting the dissident culture. He died January 23, 2007 at the age of 74.

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