Synopses & Reviews
Richard Cottam served in the U.S. embassy in Tehran from 1956 to 1958 and was consulted by the Department of State during the 1979 hostage crisis. This book draws upon his expert personal knowledge of Iranian politics to describe the spiraling decline of U.S.-Iranian relations since the cold war and the political consequences of those years U.S. policy, he argues, is flawed by ignorance, inertia, the tenacity of a cold war mentality, a quixotic tilt toward Iraq, and the blatant inconsistency of the Reagan administration's arms-for-hostages scheme that produced the Iran-contra scandal.
“Documents seized from the US embassy in Tehran in 1979 show that when American diplomats were desperately searching for some understanding of the rapidly evolving Iranian revolution before the fall of the Shah, Richard Cottam was regarded as one of the most informed American scholars with considerable insight into the contemporary Iranian social forces. . . . Fascinating history.”
—The Middle East
“This book is a fresh retelling of the story of the Iranian Revolution and its aftermath. . . . New information and original insights can be found on almost every page.”
—Middle East Journal
“Use this book! If you are teaching a course on the Middle East and you need one book on Iran, this should be it. . . . Rooted in the author's magisterial command of and involvement in Iranian politics, Cottam has produced a superb and concise survey of twentieth century Iranian political history.”
Richard Cottam draws upon his expert personal knowledge of Iranian politics to describe the spiraling decline of U.S.-Iranian relations since the cold war and the political consequences of those years.
About the Author
Richard W. Cottam was professor of political science at the University of Pittsburgh.