Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War

Oxford University Press
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Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran, is often remembered as a pliant instrument of American power during the Cold War. In this groundbreaking study Roham Alvandi offers a revisionist account of the shah's relationship with the United States by examining the partnership he forged with Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1970s. Based on extensive research in the British and U.S. archives, as well as a wealth of Persian-language diaries, memoirs, and oral histories, this work restores agency to the shah as an autonomous international actor and suggests that Iran evolved from a client to a partner of the United States under the Nixon Doctrine. Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah offers a detailed account of three key historical episodes in the Nixon-Kissinger-Pahlavi partnership that shaped the global Cold War far beyond Iran's borders. It examines the emergence of Iranian primacy in the Persian Gulf as the Nixon administration looked to the shah to fill the vacuum created by the British withdrawal from the region in 1971. It then turns to the peak of the partnership after Nixon and Kissinger's historic 1972 visit to Iran, when the shah succeeded in drawing the United States into his covert war against Iraq in Kurdistan. Finally, it focuses on the decline of the partnership under Nixon's successor, Gerald Ford, through a history of the failed negotiations from 1974 to 1976 for an agreement on U.S. nuclear exports to Iran. Taken together, these episodes map the rise of the fall of Iran's Cold War partnership with the United States during the decade of superpower détente, Vietnam, and Watergate. This work of American diplomatic history, international relations, and Middle Eastern Studies provides critical historic background on Iran's ambitions for primacy in the Persian Gulf, its nuclear program, and what a US-Iran strategic partnership might look like in the future.
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About the author

Roham Alvandi is Assistant Professor of International History at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 22, 2014
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780199375707
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Americas (North, Central, South, West Indies)
History / Middle East / General
History / Military / Wars & Conflicts (Other)
History / United States / 20th Century
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Covering the period from 1936 to 1953, Empire of Ideas reveals how and why image first became a component of foreign policy, prompting policymakers to embrace such techniques as propaganda, educational exchanges, cultural exhibits, overseas libraries, and domestic public relations. Drawing upon exhaustive research in official government records and the private papers of top officials in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, including newly declassified material, Justin Hart takes the reader back to the dawn of what Time-Life publisher Henry Luce would famously call the "American century," when U.S. policymakers first began to think of the nation's image as a foreign policy issue. Beginning with the Buenos Aires Conference in 1936--which grew out of FDR's Good Neighbor Policy toward Latin America--Hart traces the dramatic growth of public diplomacy in the war years and beyond. The book describes how the State Department established the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Public and Cultural Affairs in 1944, with Archibald MacLeish--the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Librarian of Congress--the first to fill the post. Hart shows that the ideas of MacLeish became central to the evolution of public diplomacy, and his influence would be felt long after his tenure in government service ended. The book examines a wide variety of propaganda programs, including the Voice of America, and concludes with the creation of the United States Information Agency in 1953, bringing an end to the first phase of U. S. public diplomacy. Empire of Ideas remains highly relevant today, when U. S. officials have launched full-scale propaganda to combat negative perceptions in the Arab world and elsewhere. Hart's study illuminates the similar efforts of a previous generation of policymakers, explaining why our ability to shape our image is, in the end, quite limited.
Both conservative and liberal Baby Boomers have romanticized the 1950s as an age of innocence--of pickup ball games and Howdy Doody, when mom stayed home and the economy boomed. These nostalgic narratives obscure many other histories of postwar childhood, one of which has more in common with the war years and the sixties, when children were mobilized and politicized by the U.S. government, private corporations, and individual adults to fight the Cold War both at home and abroad. Children battled communism in its various guises on television, the movies, and comic books; they practiced safety drills, joined civil preparedness groups, and helped to build and stock bomb shelters in the backyard. Children collected coins for UNICEF, exchanged art with other children around the world, prepared for nuclear war through the Boy and Girl Scouts, raised funds for Radio Free Europe, sent clothing to refugee children, and donated books to restock the diminished library shelves of war-torn Europe. Rather than rationing and saving, American children were encouraged to spend and consume in order to maintain the engine of American prosperity. In these capacities, American children functioned as ambassadors, cultural diplomats, and representatives of the United States. Victoria M. Grieve examines this politicized childhood at the peak of the Cold War, and the many ways children and ideas about childhood were pressed into political service. Little Cold Warriors combines approaches from childhood studies and diplomatic history to understand the cultural Cold War through the activities and experiences of young Americans.
The idea of revising what is known of the past constitutes an essential procedure in historical scholarship, but revisionists are often hasty and argumentative in their judgments. Such, argues Robert H. Ferrell, has been the case with assessments of the presidency of Harry S. Truman, who was targeted by historians and political scientists in the 1960s and ’70s for numerous failings in both domestic and foreign policy, including launching the cold war—perceptions that persist to the present day. Widely acknowledged as today’s foremost Truman scholar, Ferrell turns the tables on the revisionists in this collection of classic essays. He goes below the surface appearances of history to examine how situations actually developed and how Truman performed sensibly—even courageously—in the face of unforeseen crises. While some revisionists see Truman as consumed by a blind hatred of the Soviet Union and adopting an unrestrainedly militant stance, Ferrell convincingly shows that Truman wished to get along with the Soviets and was often bewildered by their actions. He interprets policies such as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, and support for NATO as prudent responses to perceived threats and credits the Truman administration for the ways in which it dealt with unprecedented problems. What emerges most vividly from Ferrell’s essays is a sense of how weak a hand the United States held from 1945 to1950, with its conventional forces depleted by the return of veterans to civil pursuits after the war and with its capacity for delivery of nuclear weapons in a sorry state. He shows that Truman regarded the atomic bomb as a weapon of last resort, not an instrument of policy, and that he took America into a war in Korea for the good of the United States and its allies. Although Truman has been vindicated on many of these issues, there still remains a lingering controversy over the use of atomic weapons in Japan—a decision that Ferrell argues is understandable in light of what Truman faced at the start of his presidency. Ferrell argues that the revisionists who attacked Truman understood neither the times nor the man—one of the most clearheaded, farsighted presidents ever to occupy the Oval Office. Harry S. Truman and the Cold War Revisionists shows us that Truman’s was indeed a remarkable presidency, as it cautions historians against too quickly appraising the very recent past.
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Between the years 1969 and 1972, Nixon's national security team actively fostered the U.S. rapprochement with China. Tudda argues that Nixon, in bold opposition to the stance of his predecessors, recognized the mutual benefits of repairing the Sino-U.S. relationship and was determined to establish a partnership with China. Nixon believed that America's relative economic decline, its overextension abroad, and its desire to create a more realistic international framework aligned with China's fear of Soviet military advancement and its eagerness to join the international marketplace. In a contested but calculated move, Nixon gradually eased trade and travel restrictions to China. Mao responded in kind, albeit slowly, by releasing prisoners, inviting the U.S. ping-pong team to Beijing, and secretly hosting Secretary of State Henry Kissinger prior to Nixon's momentous visit.
Set in the larger framework of international relations at the peak of the Vietnam War, A Cold War Turning Point is the first book to use the Nixon tapes and Kissinger telephone conversations to illustrate the complexity of early Sino-U.S. relations. Tudda's thorough and illuminating research provides a multi-archival examination of this critical moment in twentieth-century international relations.
The reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941–79), marked the high point of Iran’s global interconnectedness. Never before had Iranians felt the impact of global political, social, economic, and cultural forces so intimately in their national and daily lives, nor had Iranian actors played such an important global role – on battlefields, barricades, and in board rooms far beyond Iran’s borders. Iranian intellectuals, technocrats, politicians, workers, artists, and students alike were influenced by the global ideas, movements, markets, and conflicts that they also helped to shape.

From the launch of the Shah’s White Revolution in 1963 to his overthrow in the popular revolution of 1978–79, Iran saw the longest period of sustained economic growth that the country had ever experienced. An entire generation took its cue from the shift from oil consumption to oil production to dream of, and aspire to, a modernized Iran, and the history of Iran in this period has tended to be presented as a prologue to the revolution. Those histories usually locate the political, social, and cultural origins of the revolution firmly within a national context, into which global actors intruded as Iranian actors retreated. While engaging with that national narrative, this volume is concerned with Iran’s place in the global history of the 1960s and ’70s. It examines and highlights the transnational threads that connected Pahlavi Iran to the world, from global traffic in modern art and narcotics to the embrace of American social science by Iranian technocrats and the encounter of European intellectuals with the Iranian Revolution. In doing so, this book seeks to fully incorporate Pahlavi Iran into the global history of the 1960s and ’70s, when Iran mattered far beyond its borders.
With the publication of his magisterial biography of John F. Kennedy, An Unfinished Life, Robert Dallek cemented his reputation as one of the greatest historians of our time. Now, in this epic joint biography, he offers a provocative, groundbreaking portrait of a pair of outsize leaders whose unlikely partnership dominated the world stage and changed the course of history.

More than thirty years after working side-by-side in the White House, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger remain two of the most compelling, contradictory, and powerful men in America in the second half of the twentieth century. While their personalities could hardly have seemed more different, they were drawn together by the same magnetic force. Both were largely self-made men, brimming with ambition, driven by their own inner demons, and often ruthless in pursuit of their goals. At the height of their power, the collaboration and rivalry between them led to a sweeping series of policies that would leave a defining mark on the Nixon presidency.

Tapping into a wealth of recently declassified archives, Robert Dallek uncovers fascinating details about Nixon and Kissinger's tumultuous personal relationship and the extent to which they struggled to outdo each other in the reach for achievements in foreign affairs. Dallek also brilliantly analyzes their dealings with power brokers at home and abroad—including the nightmare of Vietnam, the unprecedented opening to China, détente with the Soviet Union, the Yom Kippur War in the Middle East, the disastrous overthrow of Allende in Chile, and growing tensions between India and Pakistan—while recognizing how both men were continually plotting to distract the American public's attention from the growing scandal of Watergate. With unprecedented detail, Dallek reveals Nixon's erratic behavior during Watergate and the extent to which Kissinger was complicit in trying to help Nixon use national security to prevent his impeachment or resignation.

Illuminating, authoritative, revelatory, and utterly engrossing, Nixon and Kissinger provides a startling new picture of the immense power and sway these two men held in changing world history.

From the first days of his unexpected presidency in April 1945 through the landmark NSC 68 of 1950, Harry Truman was central to the formation of America's grand strategy during the Cold War and the subsequent remaking of U.S. foreign policy. Others are frequently associated with the terminology of and responses to the perceived global Communist threat after the Second World War: Walter Lippmann popularized the term "cold war," and George F. Kennan first used the word "containment" in a strategic sense. Although Kennan, Secretary of State Dean Acheson, and Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall have been seen as the most influential architects of American Cold War foreign policy, The First Cold Warrior draws on archives and other primary sources to demonstrate that Harry Truman was the key decision maker in the critical period between 1945 and 1950. In a significant reassessment of the thirty-third president and his political beliefs, Elizabeth Edwards Spalding contends that it was Truman himself who defined and articulated the theoretical underpinnings of containment. His practical leadership style was characterized by policies and institutions such as the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan, NATO, the Berlin airlift, the Department of Defense, and the National Security Council. Part of Truman's unique approach -- shaped by his religious faith and dedication to anti-communism -- was to emphasize the importance of free peoples, democratic institutions, and sovereign nations. With these values, he fashioned a new liberal internationalism, distinct from both Woodrow Wilson's progressive internationalism and Franklin D. Roosevelt's liberal pragmatism, which still shapes our politics. Truman deserves greater credit for understanding the challenges of his time and for being America's first cold warrior. This reconsideration of Truman's overlooked statesmanship provides a model for interpreting the international crises facing the United States in this new era of ideological conflict.
The first installment of Bernard Cornwell’s New York Times bestselling series chronicling the epic saga of the making of England, “like Game of Thrones, but real” (The Observer, London)—the basis for The Last Kingdom, the hit  Netflix series.

This is the exciting—yet little known—story of the making of England in the 9th and 10th centuries, the years in which King Alfred the Great, his son and grandson defeated the Danish Vikings who had invaded and occupied three of England’s four kingdoms.

The story is seen through the eyes of Uhtred, a dispossessed nobleman, who is captured as a child by the Danes and then raised by them so that, by the time the Northmen begin their assault on Wessex (Alfred’s kingdom and the last territory in English hands) Uhtred almost thinks of himself as a Dane. He certainly has no love for Alfred, whom he considers a pious weakling and no match for Viking savagery, yet when Alfred unexpectedly defeats the Danes and the Danes themselves turn on Uhtred, he is finally forced to choose sides. By now he is a young man, in love, trained to fight and ready to take his place in the dreaded shield wall. Above all, though, he wishes to recover his father’s land, the enchanting fort of Bebbanburg by the wild northern sea.

This thrilling adventure—based on existing records of Bernard Cornwell’s ancestors—depicts a time when law and order were ripped violently apart by a pagan assault on Christian England, an assault that came very close to destroying England.

“A thrilling action ride of a book” (The New York Times Book Review)—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.

Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.

During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

“A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” (USA TODAY).
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