THE SHAH: Abbas Milani's Much Expected Biography Is Out


THE SHAH: Abbas Milani's Much Expected Biography Is Out
by Darius Kadivar

Publisher's Note : 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, internationallyrespected 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 politicallymoderate 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 the Author:

Abbas Milani is a historian and author. He is the Director of IranianStudies at Stanford University and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project atthe Hoover Institution. Milani has written for publications including The NewYork Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes and has appeared on CNN, theBBC, and NPR, among others. A member of the board of directors of the IranianStudies Group at MIT, the San Francisco Chronicle has said that “Milanihas the ear of Washington insiders.” He lives in California.

Praise for Tales of Two Cities:A Persian Memoir

"A consistently dramatic andmoving memoir." --San Francisco Chronicle

"An exceptional, emotionallyblooded memoir. . . . a breathtaking example of the quiet, selflessgorgeousness of the memorist’s art." --Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Persian Sphinx

"In thisbeautifully written biography of Hoveyda, Abbas Milani provides us with asuperb analysis of Iran and its poorly understood revolution."--MiddleEast Journal, James A Brill

Book Available at The Shah: Abbas Milani

Table of Contents:

Chapter One: The Flying Dutchman--February-March 1979 in Morocco

Chapter Two: Compromised Constitution—Iran, 1905-1921

Chapter Three: Peacock Prince-- Iran 1921-1931

Chapter Four: Jocund Juvenilia—Mohammad Reza as a Young Boy in Le Rosey

Chapter Five: Iran on the Eve of the Second World War

Chapter Six: The Crown of Throne: 1941-1942—the Shah’s Early Days on the Throne; HurlyReport; America’s First Democratization Effort

Chapter Seven:; Tehran conference, The Azerbaijan and its Aftermath; The Dawn of the Cold War

Chapter Eight: The Shah and Mossadeq—1951-1953

Chapter Nine: All the Shah’s man: The Coup and its Aftermath

Chapter Ten: Consolidation of power—US and the Creation of Savak; British and American Pressure for Reform

Chapter Eleven: Gharani Affair

Chapter Twelve: Russian Card

Chapter Thirteen: The Dark Side of Camelot: The Shah and the Kennedy Administration

Chapter Fourteen: Garrulous Premiere: Journey to the US; The white Revolution

Chapter Fifteen: Bright Side of Camelot: White Revolution and the US

Chapter Sixteen: The Economic Miracle—1961-1975

Chapter Seventeen: Architecture of Power

Chapter Eighteen: Party Politics

Chapter Nineteen: The Perfect spy: Soviet Espionage in Iran

Chapter Twenty: The Shah’s Last Ride

Recommended Watching:

Gholam Reza Afkhami HISTORY FORUM

Related Blogs:

BOOK: The Life and Times of the Shah by Gholam Reza Afkhami

Interview with Gholam Reza Afkhami


more from Darius Kadivar

نقدی بر کتاب ” شاه ” نوشتۀ آقای عباس میلانی




عبدالحمید شیبانی



(For once i am happy i didn't buy Milani's gossip book :P !!! Our national "weak" writer (s) should understand that historical book is asking much more than hello magazine rumors !! )


Milani's book is rehash of same old same old


Mr. Milani's book is full of half-truths and incomplete stories to distort the Pahlavi Era.  How can the son of a millionaire mullah, friend of billionaire mullahs, a Maoist Marxist who actively worked with Khomeini to over throw the government of Pahlavi Kings and then worked under  Moussavi  for 7 years (burning books, rewriting history) be anything other than a biased story teller? He is a British Islamic Republic mole in the United States who for years has been supporting the Islamic Republic and "reform." He is staunchly anti-Pahlavi and anti-Iran. This is a pseudoscholarly work.  No different than Kinzer's All the Shah's Men.  It is repulsive insult and a disgrace to Iranians that after 30 years, this bacheh mullah and  Khomeini revolutionary is now considered an expert on the Pahalvi Era? How funny! What is his source of expertise? Did he have any official positions? For whom was he spying? How can a subversive agent provide balanced scholarly work? Mr. Milani says in his own memoirs, "A Tale of Two Cities", When I was in America, "I feigned poverty because it was the thing to do." This man is a habitual liar, double crosser,  and one who conflates stories about Islamic Republic with the Pahlavi  to suit his political agenda and his islamic luminary and cell mate: Rafsanjani.  Why doesn't he write a book on his billionaire mullah friend, Mr. Rafsanjani? or Mr. Khomeini? or His Ayatolla grandfather? Is he timid?

Ari Siletz

Looking forward to the read

by Ari Siletz on

Milani's meticulous research sometimes comes with surprising episodes of compassion.

Hoshang Targol

The book tasted much better than the movie, said the

by Hoshang Targol on


On the "serious" side: finally after 31 years of his death  we have a book by a professional historain on a man who ruled Iran ( for better or worse) for almost three decades. Is our national culture allergic to in-depth historical analysis, or we're just intellectually too lazy?

The book's TOC looks promising, I'm particualry curious on chapters 10, 11 and 19. To my ,rather limited, understanding it was the other way around.  With individuals liKe Abas Shahreyari ( MARD HEZAR CHEHREH) inside Tudeh organization, it always looked liked SAVAK had the upper hand. Also role of Fardost in orgainzing ROKN DO , and later on in helping mullahs, is a topic almost no one has done any work on. Wonder if Milani has anything on the relationship between SAVAK and Hojatieh?


Books are dime a dozen, we need a movie about him!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred