The Struggle for Iran: Oil, Autocracy, and the Cold War, 1951-1954
The Iranian oil nationalization crisis of 1951-1954 was a pivotal event in the history of the post-World War II world. Drawing on decades of research David S. Painter and Gregory Brew demonstrate the centrality of oil to US and British policy and challenge attempts to downplay the Anglo-American role in the coup that ousted Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddeq in August 1953.
David S. Painter taught international history at Georgetown University for 31 years before retiring at the end of 2020. His publications include Oil and the American Century: The Political Economy of U.S. Foreign Oil Policy, 1941-1954 (1986); The Cold War: An International History (1999); Origins of the Cold War: An International History, co-edited with Melvyn P. Leffler (1994, 2005); The Struggle for Iran: Oil, Autocracy, and the Cold War, 1951-54, co-authored with Gregory Brew (2023).
Gregory Brew is an analyst at Eurasia Group covering Iran and the geopolitics of energy. He has held positions at Yale University and Southern Methodist University. His first book, Petroleum and Progress in Iran: Oil, Development, and the Cold War was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022 and he has published in a range of different outlets including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, War on the Rocks, the Washington Post, TIME Magazine, and Phenomenal World.
The Washington History Seminar is co-chaired by Eric Arnesen (George Washington University) and Christian Ostermann (Woodrow Wilson Center) and is organized jointly by the American Historical Association and the Woodrow Wilson Center's History and Public Policy Program. It meets weekly during the academic year. The seminar thanks its anonymous individual donors and institutional partner (the George Washington University History Department) for their continued support.
David S. Painter
Mary Ann Heiss
History and Public Policy Program
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