The Foreign Service Journal, April 2024

64 APRIL 2024 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL also increasingly di cult to access, this new book is a way to bring both the architecture and the artifacts to the public. e well-illustrated volume would be a welcome addition to any library that features American art. It is particularly welcome to those of us unfamiliar with the work of contemporary classical architects, including Edward Vason Jones and Allan Greenberg. Additionally, the photographs are stunning. e essays are informative, but a timeline would be a helpful addition, as would a better link between text and photos. e book also lacks oor plans, so each room stands alone with occasional glimpses into the next but no way to know how people might move through the spaces or how they are sequenced. at may be intentional, but it makes processing the whole a challenge. It would also be interesting to know how the 42 rooms, as such, are actually used. America’s Collection provides a rstclass armchair tour, but only a peek, so to speak. As David Rubenstein astutely The Insiders’ Account e Un nished History of the Iran-Iraq War: Faith, Firepower, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Annie Tracy Samuel, Cambridge University Press, 2023, $29.99/paperback, e-book available, 322 pages. R J L In this valuable work, historian Annie Tracy Samuel carefully traces how the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) became Iran’s major ghting force in the long and bloody war with Iraq from 1980 to 1988. e story of the IRGC begins in the late summer and early fall of 1979 in Tehran, when an elected “Assembly of Experts” was debating a new constitution. It was a televised scene of vigorous debate, free speech, and multiple voices urging competing paths for a new order that was emerging from the ruins of the Pahlavi monarchy. One session, which I was able to attend, involved a debate about the IRGC—a body that emerged soon after foreseen in his argument—an entity with its own security service, contracting company, media outlets, university, and air force, army, and navy. e IRGC became a major force in Iranian politics, society, and economics. When it began operating in 1979, it was an arm of the “parallel state” that existed alongside (and eventually overpowered) the “o cial state” of ministers and governors called the Provisional Government of Iran. Although the new forces did abuse their power, their presence also meant that Tehran and other Iranian cities remained mostly peaceful and orderly in the absence of a uniformed police force, which had melted away in the revolutionary chaos. As a result, in 1979, Tehran saw nothing of the anarchy and looting that characterized Baghdad in 2003 after the fall of Saddam Hussein. Taking a page from other militaries, the IRGC has undertaken to document points out in his afterword, there is no substitute for seeing great art in person, particularly seeing it in context. at is why, he says, one must visit to appreciate this collection. One can only hope that tours remain an option at this location and that this treasure trove does not nd itself o limits entirely, losing its purpose along the way. Jane Loe er is an architectural historian and author of e Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America’s Embassies (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010). the February overthrow—and whether it should be codi ed in the new document. One delegate, Rahmatollah Moghaddam-Maraghe’i, argued eloquently against the proposal, saying that the assembly, by recognizing such a body, was creating a monster, a private army, an Iranian version of the Praetorian Guard not answerable to any elected o cial or body. e assembly, rmly guided by its powerful deputy speaker, Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, approved the measure overwhelmingly. Moghaddam-Maraghe’i went on to lead the so-called “Radical Movement” within the anti-theocratic Muslim People’s Republic Party and to serve in the Islamic Republic’s rst parliament representing a district in Azerbaijan. His political career came to an end, however, when documents captured at the U.S. embassy revealed him to be a CIA asset with the code name of SD-Plod. But, as Samuel observes, MoghaddamMaraghe’i’s words were prophetic, and the IRGC grew into the body that he had