Title: Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran
Author: Kermit Roosevelt
Published: 1979, McGraw-Hill
Contents: 217 pages, black and white photos
Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran is the controversial memoir of CIA man Kermit Roosevelt (aka Kim Roosevelt), grandson of former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt. The book recounts his role in overthrowing democratically elected Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh with triumphant zeal.
The book was first published in 1979, coinciding with the Iranian revolution. That hardcover edition retailed for $12.95. In 1981, a paperback release was issued, after which it has remained out of print. Secondhand copies of Countercoup are scarce and generally run for around $100. Some are signed by the author.
The book jacket's description reads:
"It was typical Washington weather, hot and humid, as the author was hurrying to a meeting with John Foster Dulles at the State Department. That meeting on a June morning in 1953 was to lead to one of the greatest triumphs in America's covert operations in foreign countries. For at the time it was believed that Iran, under the leadership of Prime Minister Mossadegh, was slipping under Russian domination and control.
The meeting in Dulles' office, which was attended by other leaders of the American government, ended with firm decision. The author was given the go-ahead to mastermind the overthrow of Mossadegh and return the Shah to the Peacock throne.
Kermit Roosevelt explains in minute-by-minute detail how he performed his mission. He describes vividly the background of Iranian history, the country's strategic position in the world power structure, the role it played in World War II, and the hopes and dreams that both East and West had for this oil-rich nation in the years that followed. He tells with whom he worked, how he worked, and how the plan was almost aborted. This book is real-life drama, with an unexpected ending tinged with irony."
Author biography on inside book jacket:
"Kermit Roosevelt, the grandson of Theodore Roosevelt, was a veteran of the OSS and, later, the head of the Middle East Department of the CIA. His effectiveness as an agent and organizer was attested to by Kim Philby, the British agent turned Russian spy, who called the author "the quiet American. . .the last person you would expect to be up to his neck in dirty tricks."