Revolutionary upheaval in Iran, crisis in American foreign policy, 1977-1980.
How to reach beyond the political cliches about "who lost Iran"? How to recover the thousands of secret or confidential American communiques, and piece together a complete, day-to-day record of U.S. interactions with the Shah, Iranian military officials, opposition politicians, and the religious movement? How to gain the inside historical grasp needed for contemporary policy debate?
The National Security Archive, a non-profit, Washington, D.C.-based research institute and library, has for several years been diligently locating, obtaining declassification of, organizing, and indexing government documents on U.S.-Iranian relations and many other contemporary foreign-policy subjects.
Through systematic document searching, sophisticated use of the Freedom of Information Act, cultivation of an extensive network of government, media, and academic contacts, and computer-based cataloging, the Archive has developed an unmatchable collection of primary materials--comprehensive in scope, pioneering in organization.
Now, through a cooperative publishing program with Chadwyck-Healey, this resource, once available only to Washington insiders, becomes available in fully-indexed form to researchers everywhere.
Iran: The Making of US. Policy 1977-1980 reproduces on microfiche over 14,000 pages of rarely-seen documents from the highest levels of government.
In many cases, these materials have been gathered by the National Security Archive through its own--or other researchers'--Freedom of Information Act requests. Included are documents that, without Archive initiative, would probably not have been released by the government until the middle of the 21st Century.
The collection presents a uniquely integrated, thorough view of America's involvement in Iran, from the roots of the Carter Administration's dealings with the Shah, to shifting relations with the Provisional Government of Prime Minister Bazargan, to the final breakdown marked by Iranian seizure of the Embassy and the beginning of the hostage crisis.
It would take an individual researcher years of work, along with an overwhelming financial commitment, to accumulate the resources offered in this collection. Here is a one-stop retrieval for information on events, issues, and players, American as well as Iranian, pro-Shah, pro-Khomeini, and all ideological shades between.
The State Department is the largest single source of docu- mentation, but there is also representation from:
The White House
National Security Council
Central Intelligence Agency
Defense Intelligence Agency
Department of Defense
Department of Commerce
Department of Energy
Department of Treasury
Drug Enforcement Agency
In-depth, document-level indexing gives users an ease and precision of access that is rare among any published manuscript collection, government or non- government. Important transactions within each document are indexed individually.
Prepared by the Archive staff, the hard-bound index to names and subjects--designed by indexing specialist David Bearman--is a major historical contribution in itself.
Also provided are:
Glossaries of key individuals and organizations
Chronological document bibliography
Bibliography of relevant secondary sources
Factors connected to the momentous events of November, 1979--the seizure of the U.S. Embassy and the taking of diplomatic hostages--add particularly rich dimensions to the document collection.
Included are hundreds of highly-sensitive cables and memos seized by the Iranian militants, who in many cases reconstructed shredded materials. Although these materials have been published in Iran as "The Documents From the Den of Espionage," it is only with the National Security Archive/Chadwyck-Healey publication that these documents are arranged chronologically, indexed, and made useable for researchers.
With its documentary richness and balance of perspectives,the collection opens important research vistas:
This is a sampling of the more than 3,600 documents included in Iran: The Making of US. Policy:
Materials were identified, obtained, assembled, and indexed by the National Security Archive, a non-profit, Washington, D.C.-based research institute and library.
Documents are arranged in a general chronological order. Each document bears a unique accession number, to which all indexing is keyed.
Volume I is an index providing in-depth, document-level access to names, organizations, and subjects.
Volume II contains an events chronology, glossaries of names and organizations, a chronological document bibliography and a bibliography of secondary sources.
James A. Bill
Center for International Studies
The College of William and Mary
Author, The Lion and the Eagle
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