Though his monarchy was toppled in 1979 and he died in 1980, Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlevi, the last Shah of Iran, remains relevant today. He was a social reformer, a romantic egomaniac, and a deeply conflicted man and leader. Here, internationally respected author Abbas Milani gives us the definitive biography, more than ten years in the making, of the monarch who shaped Iran's modern age and with it the contemporary politics of the Middle East. The Shah's was a life filled with contradiction―he built schools, increased equality for women, and greatly reduced the power of the Shia clergy. He made Iran a global power and nationalized his country's many natural resources. But he was deeply conflicted and insecure in his powerful role. Intolerant of political dissent, he was eventually overthrown by the very people whose loyalty he so desperately sought. This comprehensive and gripping account shows us how Iran went from politically moderate monarchy to totalitarian Islamic republic. Milani reveals the complex and sweeping road that would bring the United States and Iran to where they are today.
St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (May 22, 2012)