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Watching the Iranian revolution in 1978, it seemed to me vital to explain the history of U.S.-Iran relations and how things had become so much in conflict. This book traces that relationship down through the hostage crisis. Many have recognized it as the critical account on this issue. It was published by Oxford University Press in hardcover in 1980 (three printings) and by Viking/Penguin in paperback in 1981 (five printings). There was also an unauthorized printed edition in Persian published in Tehran as The War for Power in Iran. The latest version of which I’m aware came out in 1992.
The book provided the first archives-based account on the U.S.-backed 1953 coup explaining why it was not merely an act of imperialist aggression. A focus of the book is on why the Iranian revolution took place and the motivations for its anti-American emphasis. One of the book’s predictions was that the conflict between Washington and Tehran would last for a very long time. Though many of the book’s points have since been accepted, they were controversial at the time. This especially applies to the explanation of why the new regime was going to be so radical and destabilizing to the region. Remember that at the time predictions of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s moderation were as common as those of Muslim Brotherhood moderation today.