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Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup that Remade the Middle East

Graphic true-life spy thriller about the CIA mission that overthrew Iran’s democracy

ExtraordinaryThere is no reason for you not to check this one out.” –WIRED

The year is 1953. As the value of oil skyrockets, global power brokers begin to take interest in the political regimes of the Middle East. British agents have controlled Iranian oil exports for a generation, but the Shah’s hold on peace is shaky as a charismatic leader enters the scene.

Mohammed Mossadegh’s calls to overthrow the elites resonates among the people, and as rumors circulate of an impending revolt, American, British and Persian agents hatch plans of overthrow. Deals are made behind closed doors. Every actor has a stake. Iran’s oil will flow, by any means necessary.

Operation Ajax is the story of the CIA coup that removed the democratically elected Mossadegh and reinstated the monarchy. Introduced by New York Times–bestselling author of All the Shah’s Men, Stephen Kinzer, Operation Ajax is a thrilling tale of real-life intrigue.

Reviews

  • “A stunning and truly immersive experience—a story of oil and espionage that details the deceit, action, and intrigue behind one of the biggest blows to Iran's continuing fight for freedom. Aesthetically beautiful.”
  • “An ambitious work of artistry.”
  • “Emotionally and politically charged, Operation Ajax delivers a convincing narrative that derives its drama not from its impressive presentation or dramatic fury, but from uncomfortable truths.”
  • “Important stories that grab you because of their artistry and their beautiful images.”
  • “One of the coolest media experiences I’ve seen on the iPad.”
  • “Operation Ajax offers a riveting narrative…It’s an excellent introduction to this pivotal moment in modern history, and an important contribution to a fraught historical record.”

Blog

  • McJihad: Empire and Islam between The US and Saudi Arabia

    It has become popular today to say that we live in an era of what Benjamin Barber has labelled "Jihad vs. McWorld." The globalising powers of capitalism ("McWorld") are confronted with or resisted by the forces that Barber labels "Jihad" — the variety of tribal particularisms and "narrowly conceived faiths" opposed to the homogenising force of capital. Even those with a critical view of the growth of American empire and the expansion of what is erroneously termed the global market usually subscribe to this interpretation. In fact it is the critics who often argue that we need a better understanding of these local forms of resistance against the "universal" force of the market.

    The terms of this debate are quite misleading. We live in an age, to adapt Barber’s nomenclature, of "McJihad." It is an age in which the mechanisms of what we call capitalism appear to operate, in certain critical instances, only by adopting the social force and moral authority of conservative Islamic movements. It may be true that we need a better understanding of the local forces that oppose the globalisation of capital; but, more than this, we need a better understanding of the so-called global forces of capital.

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  • Crisis and Conflict in the Middle East: A Reading List

    An agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians and opposition fighters from the besieged eastern districts of the city of Aleppo, a senior Turkish official and rebel officials have told the Guardian.

    The agreement has capped weeks of horrific suffering and violence that have left many dead and others in total despair, raising serious questions at the lack of response from the international community.

    People in east Aleppo have issued desperate pleas for rescue, posting farewell messages on Monday night and into Tuesday morning, predicting they would either die in the ongoing bombardment or be tortured and killed if they surrendered.


    As events continue to unfold, we present a reading list of key books which — through investigative journalism, graphic storytelling, and critical analysis – shed light on the unfolding crisis in the Middle East.


    Syrians leave a rebel-held area of Aleppo to go to the government-held side.

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  • Exclusive Joe Sacco comic: Down! Up!

    As part of our week dedicated to Graphic Novels, here we bring you Joe Sacco's take on the war in Iraq. Originally published in 2007 in War With No End, a collection of writers and activists responding to the ongoing War on Terror, in the strip Sacco puts his incisive reporting to the task of representing the US army's attempt to train a motley bunch of Iraqi volunteers.


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