Books History Politics

Book review – The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran

captureThe Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran: A detailed, gripping account of the rise and fall of the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran.

The book was written with the assistance of the late Reza Shah’s widow, Empress Farah as well as the cooperation of Iranian revolutionaries and U.S. officials of the Carter Administration.

Author, Andrew Scott Cooper, has written some interesting non-fiction books. He also works at Columbia University as an adjunct Professor. Cooper is a “regular commentator” regarding the U.S.-Iran relations as well as the oil markets, holding a Ph.D. in the history of U.S.-Iran relations. His research into these areas has been published in The New York Times and The Guardian.

Cooper’s work is really a “remarkable human portrait,” looking into the life of one of the twentieth century’s most prominent personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The author follows his life from his childhood years until he ascended the throne in 1941. Included are accounts of turbulence of the post-war era, a dangerous time for the Shah, who survived not only assassination attempts but coup plots to build a modern, Pro-Western state, in the hopes of making Iran one of the top world powers.

The story also highlights the Shah’s political career and his love affair and marriage to Farah Diba, and their family. Diba became a rather powerful woman, and the book takes a look at their lives inside the palace during the Iranian revolution.

captureCooper’s investigative writing gives an account of the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who lived through it. Readers will come across the following well-known figures in this book including leading Iranian revolutionaries, President Jimmy Carter and White House officials, as well as the U.S. Ambassador, William Sullivan and his staff at the American embassy in Tehran.

Accounts from American families who were present at the time, Empress Farah’s own words, and other members of the Iranian Imperial family gave their insight. The Fall of Heaven is a detailed recreation of the dramatic and final days of one of the world’s most legendary ruling families.