The Shah's Last Ride: The Fate of an Ally

William Shawcross, Author Simon & Schuster $19.45 (463p) ISBN 978-0-671-55231-2
By the author of Sideshow: Kissinger, Nixon, and the Destruction of Cambodia , this chronicles the forlorn journey into exile and death of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi. It is also about the Pahlavi regime, its relations with the British and American governments and the popular uprising that toppled the Shah in 1979. In relating this classic tale of hubris, Shawcross is effective in delineating the Shah's blind arrogance as the petrodollars brought unimagined wealth to Iran. (``You in the United States,'' he remarked to a U.S. Treasury Secretary, ``don't understand how a country should be run.'') Instead of portraying him as a fool who got what he deserved, however, as a lesser writer might have done, Shawcross describes the Shah's 19-month exile as a pathetic search for refuge and for medical treatment by a homeless man who was unable to the very end to understand what had gone wrong. The author also reveals the complicated rivalry between the eight separate teams of doctors attempting to treat the medical problems that finally laid the Shah to rest on July 27, 1980. The Shah himself referred to this as ``a medical soap opera.'' First serial to Vanity Fair; BOMC alternate. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-0-671-68745-8
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