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Blood and Oil: Inside the Shah's Iran (Modern Library Paperbacks) Paperback – March 2, 1999


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Product Details

  • Series: Modern Library Paperbacks
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Modern Library (March 2, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375753087
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375753084
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,313,907 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Anyone who views Iran merely as a nation of Muslim fanatics should read this riveting exposition of its tortuous 20th-century history. Born in 1917 into an aristocratic Iranian family, Manucher Farmanfarmaian served his country in the treacherous world of petroleum production and distribution--the source, he believes, of the disastrous Western meddling that indirectly led to the 1979 fundamentalist revolution. Writing with his journalist daughter, Farmanfarmaian details Iran's labyrinthine internal politics and international relations with thoroughness enlivened by muscular prose, a sharp eye for character, and lots of good anecdotes. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

With the assistance of his Princeton-educated daughter, an exiled Iranian prince provides the fascinating details of his extraordinary life. Born into an ancient aristocratic family in 1917, Farmanfarmaian spent his privileged and exotic childhood in the midst of his father's harem. After acquiring an impeccable British education and traveling extensively, he returned to his native land, where he eventually became a director of the National Iranian Oil Company and was directly involved in the formation of OPEC. In 1972, he was handpicked by the shah to serve as Iran's first ambassador to Venezuela. After fleeing from Ayatollah Khomeini's regime in 1979, Farmanfarmaian permanently relocated to Venezuela, establishing a new life and a new business for himself. This dazzling memoir recounts the demise of the British era in the Middle East, the emergence of petroleum politics and U.S. influence, the glittering and decadent reign of the last shah, and the revolutionary fervor that rapidly swept the shah and his allies out of power and out of Iran. A sumptuous and absolutely spellbinding autobiography as well as a vivid tapestry of one nation's turbulent modern history; bound to be requested. Margaret Flanagan --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brendan D. King on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Prince Manucher Farmanfarmaian was born in 1917 as a Prince of Persia's reigning Qajar Dynasty. He was raised in a world of Oriental luxury in his father's harem. After obtaining a "proper" education in England, he returned to his homeland, which had changed forever. The Qajar Dynasty had been overthrown and replaced by a Military Officer named Reza Pahlavi, a man determined to "modernise" Iran. As the new Pahlavi Dynasty worked to break the power of the Persian Nobility, they would lead to the creation of a nation of hedonistic aristocrats, not only divorced from the common people but increasingly from reality in general. Writing these memoirs with the aid of his daughter Roxanne, Prince Farmanfarmaian delves deep into the splendor of the Pahlavi Dynasty, while at the same time revealing the very blunders which brought them down. From the profiteering of Reza Shah the Great, to the disastrous socialism of Mossadegh, to the havoc that the last Shah's "land reform" wreaked on the economy, the reader will deeply enjoy being swept away into a nation's tortured history. When the Mullahs finally seize controll and the Prince is forced to follow the Shah into exile, the reader will be on the edge of their seat wondering if he will finally escape. Prince Manucher and Princess Roxanne are to be applauded for taking up the challenge of the glory that was the Pahlavis, without at all ignoring their warts and pimples.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
The cover of this book was a little intimidating--It looked to be a dryly academic men's book. What a wonderful surprise lies waiting inside. I could not put it down. It is a thrilling read and very informative.
Even this opinionated woman was taken with the eloquent narrative, the compelling story and impressed by the honesty of the author.
A GREAT READ
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
In this book, an Iranian aristocrat tells a tale of his memories of Iran's turbulent development years in 20th century. The book is first and foremost a selective story of the author's experiences rather than an insightful look at Iran's government and politics. It is very selective and subjective in presenting events as to support the author's point of view and conclusions. The book by itself does not provide necessary historic background to understand the political events discussed and hence one should already have a good knowledge of Iran' s political history to be able to digest the information and viewpoints provided in Blood & Oil. This book does provide a good insight into Iranian aristocratic life under the Shahs and provides one insider's view of historic events in the oil boom years. The bardic writing style used is a delight to read and proves the prowess of the authors in story telling.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By working stiff on April 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to gain an understanding of the psyche of the Iranians and why they feel so bitter towards the way the west has treated them and duped them out of hundreds of billions of dollars. A great insight into the British shenanigans in Iran.
Manouchehr Framanfarmaian was in a unique position during a unique period of Iran's history and I found the story enlightening, interesting, saddening and I am grateful that he wrote it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Irene-Martinez@rocketmail.com on November 20, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This book although slanted with respect to Manucher Farmanfarmaian's family and particularly his father is a must read for people who have been taught and only know a western perspective of history as it relates to the Middle East and specifically Iran. Not only does it help to humanize the reader's attitude towards Iran, it also helps Eurocentrists (which most Americans tend to be) to understand why and how Iran was taken over by an extreme part of the Islamic fundamentalist religion. Manucher helps the reader understand how OPEC came into existence and how Ecuador played a major role in the eventual creation of OPEC. Manucher also explains the attitude Iran had toward England vis-a-vis Germany during World War II and why they actually initially hoped Germany would win the war--not because they loved Hitler or hated Jews, but because they wanted England out of their country where they were controlling the bulk of the oil in Iran. These sentiments exist all over the world by most non-Europeans towards England and now exist towards the United States more than most policymakers in the United States seem to understand. We need to step back and take a look at how we are resented and why. The problems that presently exist in the Middle East are a creation of policies we (US and Europe) began and now are being taken advantage of by religious fanatics who are preying on the resentment the common people have towards the United States. This book is an eye-opener and should definitely be read by "westeners." Even if Eurocentrists don't change their attitude towards this part of the world, it will help them to understand that part of the world.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Perdikaraki on October 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Where, oh post-modern America, are you going to find a true tale of royalty and restoration like this? Nowhere, but from the prince himself, Manucher Farman-Farmaian, who sweeps us up in luxuriant confidentiality, whisking us on a gallop through a forgotten era, Shiites and communists hot on our trail.
So he was less than streetwise as dissent gathered like storm clouds. I wanted to see the glory that was Iran--not the darkness descending on it. I wanted to meet the inner sanctum of the Pahlavi dynasty and the relics of Farmaian's own kingly clan. Moreso, I wanted to know that this likable bon vivant escaped the senseless butchery of Khomenei's hoodlums and hangers-on. And when he does, I feel as if we've both escaped. Captivatingly written. I'd read whatever this wise man had to share, about the new life or the old.
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