Critical Review : Stephen Kinzer

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Critical Review Overall, Stephen Kinzer presents a very convincing argument full of accurate and well-articulated points, yet he fails to support his argument fully and draws loose conjectures as fact, ignoring the rich cultural and historic tradition of the Middle East and Iran. One of the most enjoyable aspects of the book is Kinzer’s ability to present an argument void of clear one-sided bias. Although Kinzer does present Mossadegh as a sympathetic savior of sorts, describing him as courageous and righteous, Kinzer does not present a pro-US argument that would affect the overall presentation of the facts of the book, nor does his recollection of Mossadegh inhibit the facts surrounding the coup. In his work, Kinzer describes…show more content…
His reconstruction of the story of the coup that changed Iran is also quite effective. Although it loses some academic merit, Kinzer is able to relay the day-to-day events simplistically, building an enthralling, quasi-cinematic retelling of the story. He exemplifies his journalistic background by drawing upon many sources to construct his story. His research supports his narrative well and it creates an interesting read about the first country subjugated to the American manipulation of their government in order to ascertain American goals. This addition to the conversation about Iran is important, as a historic event that was lost for a period. As aforementioned, the United States did not even take credit for the coup until the turn of the century, making Kinzer’s narrative more influential on the study of this event. Combined with his ability to discuss the events effortlessly, this book could have easily become a standard read on the subject matter, if it were not to have made errors later in the argument. Take, for example, the very beginning of his work, “Most of Tehran was asleep when an odd caravan set out through the darkness […] A crescent moon shone above. It was a fine night to overthrow a government .” This imagery is atypical for academic works, lending itself to a fictional narrative style, but
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