In This Review

The Eagle And The Lion: The Tragedy Of American-Iranian Relations
The Eagle And The Lion: The Tragedy Of American-Iranian Relations
By James A. Bill
Yale University Press, 1988, 520 pp

Professor Bill has written a searching study of America's relations with Iran since World War II. The book is a history but it is also an indictment-of the shah's regime, of American officials in Washington and in the field, and of the "Pahlavi lobby" of powerful people in the United States (the Rockefellers, Henry Kissinger and others) who pushed for support of the shah to the bitter end. The fact that the author names names and pulls no punches in telling who was wrong (almost everybody on the American side) adds interest and flavor to the book. Some, especially those who are the targets of his critique, will have contrary views, and many have already had their say in print. This is, in any case, a powerful book that should be widely read and taken seriously; its arguments by and large are supported by the historical record. The suggested and implied correctives sound logical, even obvious, but they seem to require a foreign policy made and carried out by an elite of scholar-politicians and scholar-diplomats (not the Kissinger-Brzezinski type, but the Bill type), hardly a likely possibility in the untidy and unruly American democracy.