In This Review

The Origins of the Iranian-American Alliance, 1941-1953
The Origins of the Iranian-American Alliance, 1941-1953
By Mark Hamilton Lytle
Holmes & Meier, 1987, 239 pp

Recent events illustrate what can happen when Americans who make policy toward Iran are ignorant of history. The directly relevant past in Iranian-American relations begins not with the revolution of 1978-79, not even with the CIA's participation in the overthrow of Prime Minister Mossadeq in 1953, but with World War II when the U.S. government first sought to exert a large, protective influence (against both the Soviets and the British) over the country. Mr. Lytle tells the story in a compact, meticulous way. This is an important addition to the literature.