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Shah of Shahs (Penguin Classics) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 1. Juni 2006

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  • Taschenbuch: 176 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin Classics (1. Juni 2006)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0141188049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141188041
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 12,9 x 1 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 3.7 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (3 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 66.708 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"A book of great economy and power...with vivid imagery, a breathless way of writing that carries the reader along, and a supreme sense of the absurd." --"New Republic" "Like Sir Richard Butron, Evelyn Waugh and Mungo Park, [Kapuscinski] makes literature out of journalism." --"Newsweek" "Insightful and important.... A readable, timely and valuable contribution to the understanding of the revolutionary forces at work in Iran.... The reader almost becomes a participant." --"The New York Times Book Review" "A supercharged particle of a book." --"Los Angeles Times"


"Shah of Shahs" depicts the final years of the Shah in Iran, and is a compelling meditation on the nature of revolution and the devastating results of fear. Here, Kapuscinski describes the tyrannical monarch, who, despite his cruel oppression of the Iranian people, sees himself as the father of a nation, who can turn a backward country into a great power - a vain hope that proves a complete failure. Yet, even as Iran becomes a behemoth of riches' and as the Shah lives like a European billionaire, its people live in a climate of fear, terrorized by the secret police. Told with intense power and feeling, Kapuscinski portrays the inevitable build-up to revolution - a cataclysmic upheaval that delivered Iran into the rule of the Ayatollah Khomeini.

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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 19. Mai 1998
Format: Taschenbuch
This is one of my favorite books of all time. It gave me more information about Iran than everything I read in newspapers or heard on the radio for all the years of the hostage crisis and since. Despite being translated from the Polish, it reads like poetry or myth, and manages to convey a gut level understanding of what it is to be Iranian. Along the way it pulls up all kinds of other issues, and illuminates them with great compassion and insight.What happens to the ruler of a poor third world country when oil suddenly brings unimaginable wealth? What is it like to live with the fear of the secret police permeating every thought and action? What mysterious factor causes a fearful hopeless population to finally revolt against its opressors?
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0 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Farhad Saberi ( am 30. September 1999
Format: Taschenbuch
This book is probably the best one I have read about the revolution of 1979 in Iran. It is concise and gets to the point very quickly. It is very illuminating. YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK if you are interested to learn about the revolution. I give my utmost respect to the author for perceiving the situation as it was, with such clarity.
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0 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Ein Kunde am 19. März 2000
Format: Taschenbuch
When I first bought this book, I was expecting to get a very candid and accurate detail of the revolution from someone who is not Iranian or Muslim. But I have yet to read a book that is more inaccurate than this one. Except for the first third of the book which describes some pictures and some history of the Shah, the rest of the book was dedicated to the revolution, and was totally inaccurate. The United States interest in stopping the spread of communism and its interest in oil in Iran was the main reason the great Shah was overthrown. People who have lived through the revolution, and who have any sort of political ties to either country knows this. But none of this was EVER mentioned in this book. If I was not on a six hour flight to Los Angeles, I would never have finished the book. As my father used to say, "dont believe everything you read!" And this goes especially for this book. As I said before, this book is totally inaccurate. I threw it out as I left the airplane.
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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 49 Rezensionen
54 von 55 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Another Kapuscinski Classic 27. August 2004
Von C M Magee - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
Kapuscinski was born in Poland in the 1930s and lived through World War II. He would go on to write for Poland's national news service (their version of the AP) as a foreign correspondent. He covered the "little wars," the insurgencies, revolutions, and coups that are barely reported in the western media. His point of view is fascinating: a man living behind the Iron Curtain serves his country by reporting on terrifying conflicts in the most inhospitable parts of the world. When you read Kapuscinski's work you may at first feel like something is missing, and then you realize that what's missing is a Western perspective and the presumption and detachment that comes with it. Kapuscinski, like no other writer I've read, is able to delve into the psyche of his subjects and produce remarkable insights about their nature and the nature of their oppression. Which isn't to say that his writing is dry. More often than not, the episodes he relates are quite harrowing. Shah of Shahs is no exception. Quite unexpectedly, I found this book about the Shah and his overthrow by Ayatollah Khomenei to be very relevant to today's conflicts, specifically, the difficulties inherent in replacing a brutal and oppressive regime without falling prey to extremism. His discussion of the horrors of the Shah's secret police, SAVAK, is astonishing, and his insight into the vulnerability of the Iranians as they attempted to move on from decades of oppression is fascinating. In assessing the difficulties of undoing the damage of a regime like the Shah's, the parallels to today's struggles in Iraq are hard to ignore, and, as such, the book was especially interesting to read at this moment in history. I have one book by Kapuscinski left to read, and after that, I can only hope that some benevolent publisher decides to put out more of his work.
18 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Wow...journalists can write! 16. März 2004
Von Moses Alexander - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is the first of Kapucinski's books that I've read and it takes a little while to get used to his style, but once you've settled in, it is quite entertaining. The book is historical, but written by a journalist, so you expect the style to fall somewhere between that of an historian and a journalist. Suprisingly <i>Shah of Shahs</i> reads more like a novel.
The book is divided into three sections: One which introduces the unrest in Iran in the 1970s, another of descriptions of photographs and recollections from notes and interviews, and lastly section called the "The Dead Flame" that hints at what is coming the wake of revolution. It poignantly shows through the author's own experience (Iran's revolution was the 27th that he'd witnessed) that things were no different there than they were in a multitude of Latin American and African countries.
Kapuscinski's style is seductive and addictive. I know I will be reading more of his work in the future.
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Genuine and vivid history 4. Dezember 2004
Von D. K. Hadad - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
An outstanding first-hand account of the events and causes of the Iranian revolution. I lived through those days and the vivid nature of this book brings those days alive. Most people will judge this book in accordance to their political opinion of the revolution and its aftermath, but, leaving that aside, the book is an excellent account of the snowballing events that took place.
13 von 14 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Good, but not Kapuscinski's best 22. März 2005
Von Andy Orrock - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
After reading a couple of Kapuscinski's works, the gold standard in my mind continues to be 'Another Day of Life' (his tale of the Angolan conflict). Still, though, it's tough to belittle in any fashion the work of a man who - as he notes late in the book - has just witnessed his 27th revolution in 'the Third World' (and I want to make clear it is the author, not the reviewer, that consigned the Iran of 1979 - 1980 to that category).

This short book (no more than a couple of hours' read) does have a some insightful things to say about power, most notably how to abuse it, and how to squander it. And, for those wondering how Iran could shake off the shackles of plutocracy/kleptocracy and plunge into theocracy, Kapuscinski pithily comments:

"The Shah left people a choice between Savak and the mullahs. And they chose the mullahs...It is not always the best people that emerge from hiding...but often those that have proven themselves strongest, not always those who will create new values but rather those whose thick skin and internal resiliance have ensured their survival."

Towards the end of the book (originally published in Polish in 1982 and first translated into English in 1985), pessimism sets in with Kapuscinski as he notes "the conservative hardliners gradually gained the upper hand over the enlightened and open ones." But, as he points out "a democracy cannot be imposed by force, the majority must favor it, yet the majority wanted what Khomeini wanted - an Islamic republic."
10 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An essential study of power disappearing 3. März 2005
Von RoadToMandalay - Veröffentlicht auf
Format: Taschenbuch
This is the best case study I have ever read of how absolute power drains away. Kapuscinski's "I am a camera" technique gives voices to many different voices of the Islamic revolution in Iran, but the best part of the book is the way it demonstrates the folly and sheer bad timing of the Shah. This book has a kind of torque: as the Shah's reign gets closer to the end, events seem to speed up. The Shah and his circle must make more decisions more rapidly, and they come up short.

Kapuscinksi's eye for the absurd detail and ear for the casual but prescient remark are used to beautiful effect in this book.
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