Mossadegh Library
Books and Reference Material

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"In a constitutional government, the shah should reign and not rule." - Dr. Mossadegh

Mossadegh Biographies


Mossadegh's Memoirs Author: Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh
Published: 1956 and 1961

Mossadegh wrote Book I of his memoirs during a three years solitary imprisonment that ended in August 1956. He completed Book II in 1961 while under house arrest in Ahmadabad.

Book I: A Brief Account of My Life and Memoirs covered the period of 1882-1924.

Book II: A Summary of the Nationalization of Oil Industry in Iran recounts the oil nationalization process and replies to accusations made by the Shah in his book Mission for My Country (1960).

Books I & II are printed in farsi in one volume (Khaterat va Taallomate Mossadegh). There is also an (out of print) English translation of both volumes by Homa Katouzian titled Musaddiq's Memoirs.

MOSSADEGH: A Political Biography

Farhad Diba Author: Farhad Diba
Published: 1986
228 pages, black and white photos

Farhad Diba is Mossadegh's nephew and witnessed the 1953 coup tragedy with his own eyes.

From the book's introduction: "Who was Mohammad Mossadegh? In the eyes of the West he was someone who was prominent on the international scene only between the years 1951 and 1953. During this period, he was portrayed by the Western media as either demagogic or pathetic but always as a figure of fun. Even if Western politicians went beyond this media analysis and made their own assessment, then he was presented as a threat to Western interests or, worse still, an agent or tool of the Communists. More often than not, there was no clear separation between official policy lines and media reports. To this day, these images of Mossadegh remain in the eyes of the general public."


Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran Author: Homa Katouzian
Published: 1990, 2nd edition in 1999 [I.B. Taurus] ISBN:1850432104
315 pages

Biography of Mossadegh by Oxford professor, historian, poet and author Homayoun (Homa) Katouzian. An excerpt from the preface to the 2nd edition: "It is true that nationalization did not succeed in its full sense. But (a) it put Iran in charge of its oil industry and resources, at least in legal terms, and led to creation of the National Iranian Oil Company which grew in importance and operations in the following decades and was ready to to run the industry when the Consortium Agreement lapsed; (b) even the Consortium Agreement which was imposed on Iran in the wake of Musaddiq's defeat, destroyed the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company's monopoly and established 50-50 profit sharing, both of which were far more beneficial to Iran than Supplemental Agreement; and (c) the British government lost most of their extra diplomatic privileges and influence in the country, losses that were never matched by America's increased influence after the coup".

Note: The incorrect spelling "Musaddiq" was imposed by the British publisher, not Katouzian.

MOSSADEGH: The Years of Struggle and Opposition

Gholamreza NejatiAuthor: Col. Gholamreza Nejati
Published: 1998, Tehran
Farsi, 2 volumes, 1,266 pages total

A thorough two volume set written in Farsi. Mindful of the post Islamic revolution atmosphere in Iran, the publisher notes that the motives of all great contemporary Iranian historical figures were love of freedom, resistance of arbitrary government rules, foreign exploitation, and a deep respect for Islamic culture- "...the difference being that some wanted Iran for Islam, and some Islam for Iran". They point out that in his doctoral dissertation on the "Law of the Last Will and Testament in Islam", Mossadegh clearly states that "I'm an Iranian and a Muslim and will fight as long as I'm alive against any threat to Iraniat and Islamiat."

Nejati cites two reasons for writing this ambitious book- the availability of newly declassified documents, and the opportunity to construct a comprehensive, authoritative documentation of the subject.


memoirsEdited by Houshang Keshavarz and Hamid Akbari
Published: 2005
Farsi, 432 pages, black and white photos

A compilation of scholarly Persian language articles commemorating Mossadegh's premiership on its 50th anniversary, this book derives from a conference of the same name held at Chicago's Northeastern Illinois University in May 2001.

THE MOSSADEGH ERA: Roots of the Revolution
The Mossadegh Era by Sepehr ZabihAuthor: Sepehr Zabih
Published: 1982
182 pages

From the foreword by Professor Amos Perlmutter: "Dr. Zabih's analysis of the struggle is masterful, detailed and fascinating. His portrait of the coup and the downfall of Mossadegh is incisive and dramatic. His research has yielded the true story of the Mossadegh phenomenon, which ended in the weakening of the nationalistic forces."

Fuad RohaniAuthor: Fuad Rohani
Published: 2008
English and Farsi, photos

The former Oil Minister during Mossadegh's premiership, Fuad Rohani, has written this biography, published in English and Farsi versions (translated by the author).

MOHAMMAD MOSSADEGH and Questions of Rights and Politics
Iraj AfsharAuthor: Iraj Afshar
Published: 2003
Farsi - 300 pages, photos, illustrations

This Farsi language book gathers Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh's fundamental writings in the field of 'rights and policies'. It contains Mossadegh's legal and financial theses, articles, memoirs, letters and miscellaneous items. Also appearing in French are Mossadegh's theses and his first interview in 1909 with Renee Vieillard that was printed in Les Nouvelles, which was also translated into Farsi.

MossadeghUndertaken by Ali Jhonzadeh
Published: 1979
Farsi, 285 pages, black and white photos

A compilation of historical and related materials on Mossadegh in Farsi. The book contains many black and white pictures and several poems about Mossadegh.

Letters from AhmadabadLetters from Mohammad Mossadegh to Mr. Nosrotollah Amini
Compiled and introduced by Fariba Amini
Published: 2004
Farsi, 100 pages, black and white photos

A collection of letters written by Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh during the final decade of his life (1956-1966) to his personal attorney, friend and confidant Nosratollah Amini. The handwritten letters are a rare glimpse into Dr. Mossadegh's state of mind while under house arrest in Ahmadabad. In addition, the book contains several never before seen photos of Dr. Mossadegh and Mr. Amini; and Amini's own personal recollection of how he met Mossadegh.

MOSSADEGH- Remembering 50th Anniversary of Oil Nationalization & Establishment of Mossadegh Government
Azadi QuarterlyLetters Azadi Quarterly Review (# 26 & 27, Summer and Autumn 2001)
Published: 2001
Farsi, black and white photos

Thick as a book, this special issue of the Azadi Quarterly Review is introduced by Mossadegh's grand son, Hedayatollah Matin Daftari. It consists of Mossadegh's biography and related subjects; several favorable and unfavorable assessments of Mossadegh; and finally a list of books on Mossadegh and the Iranian National Movement.

Mossadegh's Government

Destiny of Associates of MossadeghAuthor: Abdolreza Hooshang Mahdavi
Published: 2004
Farsi, 277 pages, black and white photos

This Farsi language book contains the story and fate of twenty loyal compatriots of Dr. Mossadegh. They were the original guard and at the forefront of the Iranian politic for more than two years, today they are all deceased. The book contains black and white pictures of these individuals along with a brief mention of several other notable individuals who also lent support to Mossadegh and his policies.

Ebrahim HomayounfarAuthor: Ebrahim Homayounfar
Published: 2000
Farsi, 132 pages

"Oil is the blood in the veins of middle east countries, a curse for the ignorant and backward nations." - From the first page of book

Personal account of Ebrahim Homayounfar, an oil industry official who was initially appointed as a member of the Oil Commission in 1944 and later became the chief administrator of the oil region at the time of the departure of British personnel from Abadan. He was removed from this job in 1952 but continued to work in the Iranian government. His last position was governorship of Isfahan province in Abbas Hoveyda's cabinet.

Political Memoirs of Khalil MalekiAuthor: Khalil Maleki
Introduction By Dr. Mohammad Ali (Homayoun) Katouzian
Published: 1981, 2nd printing in 1989 (updated)
Farsi, 488 pages

In 1941, when Reza Shah was forced to abdicate in the wake of World War II, Khalil Maleki was one of the 53 original imprisoned leading intellectuals. In the same year he became one of the original founders of the Tudeh (communist) party shortly after his release from prison in a general amnesty. He later broke off from Tudeh party and became their harsh critic because of Tudeh's support of international Communism and placing the interests of the Soviet Union ahead of the Iranian nation. As a true believer of Democratic Socialism, he continued to be active and led the Socialist Movement in Iran until his death in 1969. in Contemporary History". The section on the text of Maleki's memoirs are 156 pages. Maleki's memoirs were left incomplete due to his death at age 80. The book also includes several documents such as correspondences between Maleki and Dr. Mossadegh when the latter was under house arrest in Ahmadabad.

This book presents Khalil Maleki as a tireless champion for social change, economic independence and territorial integrity of Iran. Khalil Maleki had great admiration for Dr. Mossadegh and what he was attempting to accomplish and addressed him as "The Great Father of Iranian Nation".

The Biography and Politcial Campaigns of Dr. Hossein FatemiAuthor: Dr. Nasrollah Shifteh, the editor in Chief of Bakhtar-e-Emrouz newspaper
Published: 1985
Farsi, 405 pages, black and white photos

Dr. Hossein Fatemi was Mossadegh's young Foreign Minister.

The Biography and Political Campaigns of Dr. Hossein Fatemi is authored by Dr. Nasrollah Shifteh, Fatemi's close journalist collaborator and friend in publication of Bakhtar-e-Emrouz newspaper from 1328 (1939) until "The Coup" in 1953. The book is based on the author's "sweet and bitter memories, personal notes and documents about Dr. Fatemi's political and journalistic activities until 28 Mordad, 1332" (August 19, 1953). The book also points out that Dr. Fatemi recognized the duplicity of Communist Russia in its apparent support for the nationalistic aspiration of Iranians, but in reality collaborating with the British and undermining Dr. Mossadegh's democratic government.


Hossein Fatemi: Writings in CaptivityAuthor: Hossein Fatemi
Edited with an introduction and notes by Hedayat Matine-Daftary
Published: 2005
Farsi, 134 pages

The personal writings of Mossadegh's Foreign Minister Dr. Hossein Fatemi written after the coup.

Portrait of Dr. Hossein FatemiAuthor: Abolfazl Hadj Ghorbanali
Published: 1992

A biography of Dr. Hossein Fatemi written in Farsi.

WITH WEEPING EYES, A GIFT OF LOVE - The Ups and Downs of Martyr Dr. Hossein Fatemi
Hossein Fatemi bookFarsi

A biography of Dr. Hossein Fatemi written in Farsi.

CIA [Central Intelligence Agency]

Countercoup by Kermit Roosevelt Author: Kermit Roosevelt
Published: 1979
217 pages

The memoirs of CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt (1916-2000), who orchestrated Operation Ajax which brought about the fall of Mossadegh in Iran. Publication of the book was delayed due to the ensuing Iranian hostage crisis, and the Shah strongly opposed its release.

More info on Countercoup here.

ADVENTURES IN THE MIDDLE EAST: Excursions and Incursions
Donald WilberAuthor: Donald Newton Wilber
Published: 1986 [Princeton Darwin Press]
256 pages, with photos and maps

Written by CIA agent and Middle East expert Donald Wilber, who claims to be the mastermind behind the 1953 coup.

In Adventures in the Middle East, Wilber refutes claims made by his colleague Kermit Roosevelt in Countercoup, indicating a rivalry between the two men.

Wilber is also the author of Iran Past and Present (1954, updated in 1982), and Contemporary Iran (1963).

Richard CottamAuthor: Richard W. Cottam
Published: 1988
298 pages

Richard Cottam was among the CIA agents involved in the 1953 coup which deposed Mossadegh and later wrote this, along with Nationalism In Iran (1967, updated in 1979).

A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency

Richard HelmsAuthor: Richard Helms
Foreword by Henry Kissinger
Published: 2003 [Random House]
452 pages

The memoirs of former CIA agent Richard Helms, who discusses the CIA's deep involvement in the 1953 coup in Iran. Helms was Ambassador to Iran in the Nixon administration from 1973-1976, and worked closely with the Shah to preserve US "interests".

LEGACY OF ASHES: The History of the CIA

Legacy of Ashes Author: Tim Weiner
Published: 2007 [Random House]
702 pages, photos

Contains a chapter on the 1953 coup, "CIA's Greatest Single Triumph".

Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times reporter Tim Weiner has written this comprehensive history of the CIA under 11 U.S. Presidents.

Publisher's description: For the last sixty years, the CIA has managed to maintain a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, burying its blunders in top-secret archives. Its mission was to know the world. When it did not succeed, it set out to change the world. Its failures have handed us, in the words of President Eisenhower, "a legacy of ashes".

OVERTHROW: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq

Overthrow by Stephen KinzerAuthor: Stephen Kinzer
Published: 2006
400 pages, black and white photos

From the author of All the Shah's Men, Kinzer revisits familiar territory and reviews the history of U.S. overthrows of foreign governments, including Iran, Guatemala, and many, many others.

Silent Missions by Vernon WaltersAuthor: Vernon Walters
Published: 1978 [Doubleday] ISBN:0385135009
654 pages, black and white photos

Vernon Walters was staff assistant and translator for President Truman and Eisenhower, Deputy Director of the CIA and former US Ambassador to the UN. In Silent Missions, Walters discusses his personal dealings with Mossadegh, having interpreted Mossadegh's French during meetings with Averell Harriman in Chapter 13: The Story of Mossadegh and Harriman.

Eisenhower Administration

Mandate for Change by Dwight EisenowerAuthor: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Published: 1963
650 pages

The first volume of President Eisenhower's memoirs, which includes his opinionated account of "the Iran problem" and cable correspondence with Mossadegh. Includes sections "Seizure of Iranian Oil Industry" and "Mossadegh Overthrown".
PRESENT AT THE CREATION: My Years in the State Department
Dean AchesonAuthor: Dean Acheson
Published: 1969 [W. W. Norton & Company] ISBN: 0393304124
816 pages

Memoirs of Truman's Secretary of State Dean Acheson, who had much interaction with Mossadegh.

Contains chapter: "Double Trouble in Iran" Crisis in Iran —
Phase One: The Shah's Attempt — Phase Two: The Mosadeq Revolution: Mosadeq: A Sketch from Life; A Critical Spring; Violence Impends — Phase Three: The Harriman Mission — Phase Four: Hope Fades

ENVOY TO THE MIDDLE WORLD: Adventures in Diplomacy
Geoge McGheeAuthor: George Crews McGhee
Foreword by Dean Rusk
Published: 1983
457 pages

The accounts of Assistant Secretary of State George McGhee for the Near East, South Asian and African Affairs for the period 1949 through 1951, with a review to bring it up to date in 1983.

Three chapters deal with issues related to Iran: "The Shah's First Official Visit to Washington in November 1949", "Anglo-Iranian Oil Company Nationalized" and "Talks with Mossadeg".

In this latter chapter, even in 1983 when the American sponsored coup was a known historical fact, Mr. McGhee blames Mossadegh for his own downfall by losing popular support, authoritarian tactics and alienation of Majlis. He asserts that ultimately the army rallied to the Shah and arrested Mossadegh and his key supporters.

IKE'S SPIES: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment
Ike's SpiesAuthor: Stephen Ambrose
Introduction by Douglas Brinkley (1999)
Published: 1981
368 pages

Mohammad Mossadegh is discussed in about 20 pages of this volume by Eisenhower's biographer and noted plagiarist Stephen Ambrose, author, professor and Director of the Eisenhower Center at the University of New Orleans.

Contains chapters: Chapter 14- Iran: The Preparation; Chapter 15- Iran: The Act.

Related links:

Mossadegh Photo Gallery

Mossadegh Videos

MOSSADEGH t-shirts — “If I sit silently, I have sinned”

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