Matthew K. Shannon, "Losing Hearts and Minds: American-Iranian Relations and International Education during the Cold War" (Cornell UP, 2017)


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In Losing Hearts and Minds: American Iranian Relations and International Education During the Cold War (Cornell UP, 2017), Matthew K. Shannon, an associate professor of history at Emory & Henry College, shows the complex role that Iranian student migration to the United States played in shaping the relations between the two countries. For U.S. policymakers, Iranian student migration to the United States was as a useful way to provide Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi with the training and technical expertise necessary for his modernization program. But as Shannon shows, Iranian students quickly became immersed in the progressive student movements of the 1960, eventually turning their critical energies to the shah’s own authoritarian regime and contributing to his overthrow in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. This fascinating monograph is full of many unexpected twists and turns and will be of interest to historians of the U.S. in the world, US-Iran Relations, scholars of higher education, and anyone interested in this important era of U.S. foreign relations.

Steven P. Rodriguez is a PhD Candidate in history at Vanderbilt University. You can reach him at and follow his twitter at @SPatrickRod.

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