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Answer to History Hardcover – September, 1980

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Text: English, French (translation)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Stein & Day Pub; First U.S. Edition edition (September 1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812827554
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812827552
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #910,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 50 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As a young Iranian living in the United States, I became involved in anti-shah activities common among the Iranian youth
inspired by leftist ideologies in the 1970's. But the hindsight is always 20/20. Reading this book has given me a different perspective of the man and his ideas, his philosophies and his wishes for a nation who supported him whole-heartedly after second World War and who turned against him in 1979. Now I understand that his aspirations for modernization and curbing the yokes of religious fanaticism levelled against our people by the Mullahs during the past several centuries were the right cure for the ills of our society. I regret my contributions to the creation of the current turmoil in my beloved homeland, by my actions against a man and a government that loved his country and could not be called anything but a patriot.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book changed my perception of the Shah, who was demonized in the "Western" world. I understood what it was he was trying to do for his country has admire him for those efforts. I used to believe that the Shah was evil but that view has changed. I wish the best to the Iranian nation. One of my best reads ever!
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book was dictated by the Shah when he was already dying of cancer. It is, therefore, not surprising that it comes across as choppy, uneven and, at times, even confusing. But , once one learns how to set its defects aside, theShah's book provides many keys to his complex mind.
Here is a man with a vision for " a great civilisation" in a country that has justly been hailed as the birthplace of some of the world's greatest cultures. Whether one shares that vision or not is a different matter. In 1978-79 sufficient numbers of Iranians, though not a majority,rejected that vision and, instead, opted for an " Islamic" model promoted by the mullahs.
The Shah's vision is now past history.There is no way that present-day Iran can become one of the world's five major powers as the Shah had dreamed.
The Shah's " Answer to History" is best appreciated if read in conjunction with some of the biographies evoted to him in recent years. I recommend three of them: William Shawcross's " The Shah's Last Ride" which is the best in covering the fallen monarchs last few months of life in exile, Amir Taheri's critical but sympathetic " The Unknown Life of the Shah", and Marvin Zonis's " Majestic Failure" whcih reads like a Western indictment of the late monarch but , unintentionally perhaps, also reveals his gratness.
James Malone, Canberra, Australia
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Alex Sheibani on November 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
It's now 2009 now and after 30 years Iranians still have no clue what they did. A little heart felt wisdom would have really helped them so much. After reading this book and speaking with many Iranians today, I think they should become educated regarding the definition of words. Dictator would be the first word I would encourage every person to learn the meaning of.

Dictators don't make their decisions based on the advice of the consensus of their team like the shah did, they aren't primarily focused on increasing the freedom of those they serve like the shah did (according to Aristotle they serve their own good only), so they would not be paying for the living expenses and university education of over 100,000 Iranians that studied in the US and Europe. Dictators are not people who center their entire lives on helping people have the possibility to enhance their lives for example by growing the Iranian economy to 5 times that of Turkeys in 1979 (unlike today where it is only 40% the size of Turkeys after 3 trillion dollars in Oil Revenue).

Dictators build 100,000 square feet palaces for themselves. Saddam built over 20 in just 30 years and the shah didn't even build one. I guess between building mines, steel mills, hospitals, public courts and schools he realized the people he love needed freedom more than he needed a palace.

Instead of debating amongst each other, when Iranians realize what a dictator is and is not, their comments will make more sense and not be based on ignorance but based on wisdom.

Maybe they would then figure out why the media invented the label of dictator for the shah as well as others like a megalomaniac, a villain, a crook.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
A good first book for those trying to learn more about the revolution and the Shah's policies. I highly recommend this book!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I read this book several times. It's one of the most valuable and precious sources for all of the Iranians to know shah and his thoughts in his own word. I recommend this book for anyone who's trying to find the truth about the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Gustin on February 27, 2009
Format: Paperback
Frequently demonized in the west nowadays, this book is the autobiography of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who was deposed in 1979 and replaced by an Islamist dictatorship that remains in power to this day. He describes his own life and struggles during his reign in Iran from 1941-1979, and he puts forth his own defense against the common accusations against him from western scholars, historians and the Islamist regime. The charges against him which he addresses includes corruption, repression by his security organizaton (S.A.V.A.K.), and working with the US to topple his own democratically elected prime minister, Mohammed Mossadegh, in 1953. Interestingly, he admits that he made several grave mistakes that didn't help his image or his government, such as abolishing multiple political parties in favor of one legal political party. It's a rare politician indeed who admits his mistakes. Those who remain opposed to him will obviously not be convinced, but for those who want to hear his side of the story and entertain the possibility that he may not have been the monster that he is portrayed to be by western scholars and professors, this is a decent book.
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