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4.0 out of 5 stars an extremely lucid intro to Iran at its Revolution, 30 May 2011
By 
rob crawford "Rob Crawford" (Balmette Talloires, France) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Paved with Good Intentions: American Experience and Iran (Paperback)
This is a wonderful journalistic book on US-Iranian relations from WWII until the late 1970s, that is, the decisive revolutionary break. It is fascinating in that you see how influence and genuine good intentions can lead to disaster and alienation when you are dealing with different cultures. The specifics are well known: during the COld War, Iran and the SHah were seen as US allies. However, Iranian society was also seeking to evolve in its own ways, hence the early revolution with Mossadegh that was overthrown with the help of the CIA; while a tactical victory, the underlying process of change could not be entirely thwarted. The Shah then believed he had a free hand to mold the society as he saw fit, with full US support. We viewed him as an indispenable ally, and so trusted him while lending economic support. Of course, the Shah had his own designs, including the founding of OPEC, obviously not "in the interest" of the West. Then, with his new-found resources, the Shah was like a kid in a candy store, going bananas buying weapons systems - Kissinger saw him as a "regional policeman" - while repressing his people. All the changes happened too fast, and the backlash of fundamentalism was the result. Rubin's perspective demonstrates that chaging someone else's society is a perilous undertaking. This is a relevant message today.

Rubin writes well and does a wonderful analysis of all this, which makes this a great cautionary tale for naively good intensions interlaced with geo-politics. While the book ends at the time of the Revolution, it is a superb introduction to the politics and history of Iran.

Warmly recomended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars very good service, 13 May 2009
This review is from: Paved with Good Intentions: American Experience and Iran (Paperback)
item as described, very good value, estimated arrival date was about right, would use again
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Paved with Good Intentions: American Experience and Iran
Paved with Good Intentions: American Experience and Iran by Barry Rubin (Paperback - 25 Feb. 1982)
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