The life of Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, recounted with a certain amount of glitter (coronations, courtships, etc.) but almost no attention to either Iran or its people. In a near-complete vacuum of social or political factors, Hoyt outlines the fortunes of the Pahlavi dynasty: old Reza Shah's 1925 deposition of the last Qajar ruler; the many maneuverings of British, German, and Russian interests followed by the Allied ouster of the old Shah; the cold-war realignments and consolidations of power. Nearly a quarter of the book is devoted to the great Mossadegh crisis which followed the oil nationalization of 1951. Hoyt does not ignore the CIA's role in the Shah's eventual routing of Mossadegh, but presents it in fairly sanitized terms. Despite some attention to problems of land reform, minority rights, and political repression, Hoyt's analysis boils down to little more than harmless generalities about social restructuring. Slight and facile.