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The Fall of Heaven

The Fall of Heaven

The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

Andrew Scott Cooper

Picador

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An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration.

In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers.

Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family.

Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary rul… More…

An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration.

In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers.

Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family.

Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

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Praise for The Fall of Heaven

“Riveting . . . Based on various documentary sources as well as impressive access to royalists, revolutionaries, Queen Farah Pahlavi, and various U.S. officials, this thorough work is immensely detailed yet readable and continuously engaging.” —Publishers Weekly

"[Cooper] delves intimately into the life of the leader who believed firmly in the separation of church and state and who seemed stern and humorless to the public yet was a devoted father of five children and had no patience for the imams dragging their feet on reforms. . . A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him." —Kirkus (starred review)

“Cooper provides an expert and more nuanced view of the Shah, his regime, and its collapse….This is a fine revisionist study of major world events that continue to influence the fate of the Middle East.” —Booklist

“Here is all the power and glamour—but also the dark side and ultimately the tragedy—of the last Shah of Iran. A moving and thoroughly researched account.” —Robert Lacey, author of The Kingdom and Inside the Kingdom

The Fall of Heaven is a vivid and penetrating portrait of the last chapters of imperial Iran and the ruler whose attempt to thrust his country into modernity ended with upheaval and exile. This book provides valuable insight into the background of a revolution that is still shaking international politics today.”
—Paul R. Pillar, twenty-eight… More…

“Riveting . . . Based on various documentary sources as well as impressive access to royalists, revolutionaries, Queen Farah Pahlavi, and various U.S. officials, this thorough work is immensely detailed yet readable and continuously engaging.” —Publishers Weekly

"[Cooper] delves intimately into the life of the leader who believed firmly in the separation of church and state and who seemed stern and humorless to the public yet was a devoted father of five children and had no patience for the imams dragging their feet on reforms. . . A thorough new appraisal of an enigmatic ruler who died believing his people still loved him." —Kirkus (starred review)

“Cooper provides an expert and more nuanced view of the Shah, his regime, and its collapse….This is a fine revisionist study of major world events that continue to influence the fate of the Middle East.” —Booklist

“Here is all the power and glamour—but also the dark side and ultimately the tragedy—of the last Shah of Iran. A moving and thoroughly researched account.” —Robert Lacey, author of The Kingdom and Inside the Kingdom

The Fall of Heaven is a vivid and penetrating portrait of the last chapters of imperial Iran and the ruler whose attempt to thrust his country into modernity ended with upheaval and exile. This book provides valuable insight into the background of a revolution that is still shaking international politics today.”
—Paul R. Pillar, twenty-eight-year veteran of the CIA and senior fellow at Georgetown University and the Brookings Institution

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Reviews from Goodreads

Andrew Scott Cooper

Andrew Scott Cooper is the author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, and an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University. He is a regular commentator on US-Iran relations and the oil markets, and his research has appeared in many news outlets including The New York Times and The Guardian. He holds a PhD in the history of US-Iran relations and lives in New York City.

Andrew Scott Cooper

Picador

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