e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Basic I - Iran History (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. A History of Iran: Empire of the
2. A History of Modern Iran
3. The History of Iran (The Greenwood
4. Understanding Iran: Everything
5. Comprehensive History of the Jews
6. Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling
7. A Social History of Sexual Relations
8. Modern Iran: Roots and Results
9. Immortal: A Military History of
10. Democracy in Iran: History and
11. The Economic History of Iran,
12. Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953
13. Factional Politics in Post-Khomeini
14. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian
15. The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988 (Essential
16. Pictorial History of Iran: Ancient
17. Sino-Iranica: Chinese Contributions
18. The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval
19. From Persian Empire to Islamic
20. Mesopotamia, Iran and Arabia from

1. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind
by Michael Axworthy
Paperback: 368 Pages (2010-03-09)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$9.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 046501920X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Although frequently vilified, Iran is a nation of great intellectual variety and depth, and one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Its political impact has been tremendous, not only on its neighbors in the Middle East but also throughout the world. From the time of the prophet Zoroaster, to the powerful ancient Persian Empires, to the revolution of 1979, the hostage crisis, and the current standoff over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, Michael Axworthy vividly narrates the nation’s rich history. He explains clearly and carefully both the complex succession of dynasties that ruled ancient Iran and the surprising ethnic diversity of the modern country, held together by a common culture. With Iran again the focus of the world’s attention, A History of Iran is an essential guide to understanding this volatile nation.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

2-0 out of 5 stars Unbiased? Try again.
This book suffers from the absurd and disproven theory that Modern Judaism is somehow a product of Mazdaean "Influence." The most laughable assertion Axworthy makes is that Mazdaean influence is indicated by the Hebrew Bible's favorable portrayal of the Persians. It couldn't possibly be because Cyrus liberated the Jews and financed the building of their temple. I think it's the other way around. There is probably Judaic influence on Zoroastrianism since Modern Zoroastrianism is essentially Monotheism while ancient was "almost" Monotheism. of course that always depends on who you ask. It would be nice if these fake scholars would stop lying about the Egyptian, Persian or Mitrhaic "roots" of Judaism/Christianity since it is a complete fiction. Educated Westerners of who arestudents of history such as myself generally have a very favorable view of Persia, Persian religion, and Persian culture. Apparently these fake scholars don't give a damn about the fact that their continued dishonesty is offensive to Westerners who admire Iranian history.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Introduction, From Pre-History to the Present
This short history covers over three thousand years of history of the Iranian people, and other groups that now inhabit the modern nation of Iran.Naturally, that means it is extremely short on detail.But for the reader who only wants an overview, or an introduction before a more serious study, I recommend this book.

Axworthy speads his focus evenly throughout the various phases of history (as opposed to breezing quickly through ancient empires to get us to the present).I agree with his decision to do so.Many Iranians have a sense of history that makes it necessary to have at least a passing understanding of Iran's pre-Islamic heritage in order to understand modern attitudes.I also believe that pre- and early-Islamic history are interesting in their own right.But for readers who are mainly interested in the modern world, this might not be the best book; Axworthy doesn't start discussing the Pahlavi period until page 221, and spends about 65 pages on the last 100 years.The only other caveat is that the narrative during the early-Islamic period is a little confused.The text on the Umayyad, Abbassid and Seljuk periods is not as clear as what comes before or after.

Regardless, the book is very well written overall.It is accessible to the casual reader.The several maps help create a coherent picture of the ever-shifting historical boundaries.

I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Iran who has little or no background in the country, but it will be an easier read if you have some knowledge of Islamic history.I also recommend following this book up with something more detailed.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Empire of Many Minds...
Michael Axworthy's excellent 2008 "A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind" covers 3,000 years of Iranian history in less than 300 pages.His approach is sensitive and generally even-handed, reflecting an interest in Iran that in places borders on reverence.The result is a nuanced narrative accessible to the general reader and the student of Iranian affairs.

The sub-title, "Empire of the Mind", conveys the central narrative theme that modern Iran is a product of multiple invasions, whether of men or ideas, that have somehow been assimilated without obliterating Iran's cultural and political continuity.Its many contradictions are the product of a civilization founded by Aryan immigrants from central Asia, that was overrun by Greek, Roman, Arab and other armies, and is now the principal home of the Shia varient of Islam.

Axworthy traces the impact of the various ruling dynasties, but he also pays close attention to the finer aspects of its culture, especially its poetry.Of most interest to this reviewer was his description of the current government, with its interwoven secular and religious strands.

Axworthy, a former foreign service officer, tries to be evenhanded about the nature of the current regime.The corruption and repression revealed by the June 2009 presidential elections reinforces his idea of a regime both brutal and divided.His handling of the ongoing nuclear crisis is less sure; Axworthy probably undersells both Iran's diplomatic stonewalling and its interest in nuclear weapons.

"A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind" is highly recommended as a concise introduction to the country and its idea of its place in the world.

4-0 out of 5 stars Empire of the mind
This book can be considered a starting point for any newcomer to Iranian history.It is, without a doubt, a major contribution to the popular history genre.While Iran/Persia is one of the great empires, Axworthy implies that it is also an empire of the mind, a virtual empire that transcends the western concept of the geopolitical state.

The book follows Iran's chronological history from pre-Achaemenid times to the present. It is well researched and has extensive footnotes and references allowing the reader to delve into details of any event or subject.Yet, it is eminently readable and has the tone of a lively and informative lecture rather than an erudite tome.

The book binds all the varied elements of Iranian culture (a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religion mélange of peoples) into a single story line.It provides a factual, but simplified, picture of a multiplicity of societies who consider themselves Iranian regardless of the proclivity of their present governments.The reader is forced to re-evaluate the common notions of Iran as a homogeneous entity and recognize it as a hodgepodge of different groups who are bound by a common belief in the uniqueness of their civilization, culture and history.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the book is the portrayal of Iranian minorities.It is no small feat to trace their histories in the Iranian context. Yet, as Axworthy implies, it is their historical contributions and continued existence that make Iranian culture unique.It would be a sad day if any government forced uniformity on such a great and diverse culture.

The book does not cover everything (that would require an encyclopedia) but it misses some points.For instance, it discusses the Council of Guardians but does not cover another key element of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic - the Council of Experts.This is the Council that was responsible for appointing Ayatollah Khamenei as "supreme leader", a decision that involved considerable internal debate.Further, in theory, this Council can remove the supreme leader if it finds him unfit to rule.This is no small power considering the current turmoil Iran and is certainly worth mentioning.

As a final note there are a few misstatements in the book.For example, the Qajar dynasty was not removed by a constituent assembly. The Fourth Majlis, using a unique amendment, removed the Qajars and agreed to Reza Khan becoming Reza Shah.

However, in spite of such minor instances, the book is accurate, immensely readable and truly major contribution to Iranian history.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get it,read it: the unbiased history of Iran.
It's been about 2 months since I received the book but I remember that it arrived in a timely matter and I had not problems with it. I will buy form this seller again. The book is interesting an summarizes a lot of history, however I have not finished it yet. It certainly clears up a lot of vague thoughts and ideas some may have. It is easy to follow I know some Iranian history and culture so I do not know how beneficial it would be for a person who wants to learn Iran's history for the first time but I definitely recommend it to all who want to and can read to read it! ... Read more

2. A History of Modern Iran
by Ervand Abrahamian
Paperback: 264 Pages (2008-07-28)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$8.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521528917
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In a reappraisal of Iran's modern history, Ervand Abrahamian traces its traumatic journey across the twentieth century, through the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the birth of the Islamic Republic. In the intervening years, the country has experienced a bitter war with Iraq, the transformation of society under the clergy and, more recently, the expansion of the state and the struggle for power between the old elites, the intelligentsia and the commercial middle class. The author is a compassionate expositor. While he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's regional and international politics, at the heart of his book are the people of Iran. It is to them and their resilience that this book is dedicated, as Iran emerges at the beginning of the twenty-first century as one of the most powerful states in the Middle East. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars brilliant
I love the book as it analyses the society as well as the events. Abrahamian did a great job.

4-0 out of 5 stars A timely addition to our knowledege sources of Iran
Edward Abrahamian is a man who knows his Iran. This is an addition to his previous book "Iran Between two Revolutions". The present book is well-researched and well-written book on this difficult subject. Historically speaking the grievances between the US and Iran are relatively new, just over 50 years old. It started with the deposing of Mosaddegh in a CIA coup and culminated in the Hostage Crisis. Politicians of both countries have used the incidents as a tool for justifying their own agenda. Introduction of Israel to this explosive mixture has further complicated the issue. This book is a recommended reading for those who want to familiarize themselves with the issues and would not take politicians ' word on their face value. It is a good beginning for understanding the issues before we get into an unnecessary and potentially disastrous conflict.

2-0 out of 5 stars A Radical, Marxist Interpretation of Modern Iranian History
Ervand Abrahamian's A History of Modern Iran

Ervand Abrahamian, Distinguished Professor of History, Baruch College, City University of New York, has written a short, radical, Marxist interpretation of modern Iranian history for general readers.Without justifying why any reader should even care about a Marxist interpretation of history, Professor Abrahamian has failed to define precisely what a Marxist interpretation means.There are some references to class struggles in Iran involving old elites, the intelligentsia, the commercial middle class, and the clergy. According to a Marxist view, Iran has made a transition from feudalism (isolated villages and tribal clans) to state capitalism (urbanized, integrated economies with classes struggling for power).Unfortunately, some Marxists even use state capitalism to describe Communist China.

Imperialist Concessions and Interventions

Abrahamian failed to cover well the concessions made by Iranian shahs to imperialist powers.He did mention the D'Arcy Concession (1901 - 1933) and described the earlier Reuter's Concession.When Iranians attempted to have a constitutional revolution in 1906, European imperialist powers interfered.W. Morgan Shuster, one of a few Americans who went to help Persia, explained in detail these intrigues in The Strangling of Persia.There are many detailed books on the Iranian Constitution Revolution.Even Abrahamian wrote in 1982:Iran Between Two Revolutions.

Reza Shah

Abrahamian provided sketchy details of the British and Soviet intrigues leading to Reza Khan's 1921 coup.He dismissed an opportunity to compare Reza Shah with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, using the excuse that Ataturk had inherited a centralized state.Instead, he offered a comparison with Stalin, who inherited a country of wooden ploughs and left the Soviet Union with an atomic bomb.Abrahamian needed to address the claim of Iranian monarchists that Reza Shad opposed monarchy but was compelled by Islamic leaders to continue monarchy.

This book contains many details of the iron fist rule of Reza Shah, including the required dress code of wearing Western-style clothing.Today, hypocritical Iranian monarchists criticize the Islamic Republic of Iran for having dress codes.Reza Shah's torture, imprisonment, and execution of political opponents received some coverage.For details (and comparisons with the reign of the Shah of Iran and of the current Islamic Republic of Iran), read Abrahmian's Tortured Confessions.

Abrahamian provided excellent details of the extent to which Reza Shah stole lands and wealth from the people of Iran, including by throwing entire families into jail until they would sell their properties to him.Starting as a soldier, Reza Shah died owning 3 million acres of farm lands.

Communists and Nationalists

The Soviet Union regarded Iran as a prize for Iran's natural resources and warm-water ports.While Abrahamian mentioned too briefly Nazi involvement in Iran, he did explain that the 1941 Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran and the 1945 - 1946 Soviet demands for oil concessions impacted the successes and failures of the Iranian communist Tudeh Party.Support for the nationalist, Mossadeq, included some Tudeh Party supporters who opposed Soviet demands.However, Abrahamian rejected claims that the 1953 American opposition to the coup against the Shah of Iran had anything to do with saving Iran from international communism.While preserving an international oil cartel was a factor in American and British involvement in the 1953 coup in Iran, it was not the only factor.Abrahamian failed to consider relevant references, such as Kermit Roosevelt's Countercoup: The Struggle for the Control of Iran.Page 398 of The Black Book of Communism includes the truth about how communists took over countries by joining first coalition governments holding positions useful for repressing the people:"In 1944-1945 Communist parties held the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania; the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria and Romania; and the Ministry of Defense in Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria."

Shah of Iran's Blunder

In 1975, the Shah of Iran made the major blunder of abolishing all political parties and of replacing those parties with a single political party.Was the Shah of Iran inspired by Lenin?Professor Abrahamian claimed that the one-party state approach was advocated by Samuel Huntington, author of Political Order in Changing Societies.
Iranian Communist MEK (MKO, PMOI, NCRI, Rajavi Cult, or Pol Pot of Iran) Terrorists

Professor Abrahamian's coverage of the Iranian communist MEK terrorists and of the support of the MEK by many foreign countries was extremely poor.This is amazing because he wrote The Iranian Mojahedin (1989).The MEK started in the 1960's to overthrow the Shah of Iran.The MEK participated in the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and in the holding of hostages at the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran.In 1981, after failing with a counter-revolution, Massoud Rajavi fled to France and then to Iraq.At the end of the Iran-Iraq War, the MEK invaded Iran.The MEK has been on the American State Department's list of terrorist organizations since the administration of former President Bill Clinton.The MEK has murdered American military officers, Rockwell International employees, and large numbers of Iranians and Iraqis.In September 2002, the White House issued a background paper for President Bush's remarks at the United Nations listing the MEK as a Saddam Hussein-supported terrorist organization in Iraq and as a pretext for a war with Iraq.In 2003, American and coalition forces attacked the MEK at Camp Ashraf, Iraq.Neo-conservatives (neo-Trotskyites) in the American government ordered the protection of the MEK.Now, the Iraqi army has surrounded Camp Ashraf.The Iraqi government has told the MEK to leave Iraq.

While I applaud Professor Abrahamian for being an initial signer of the Stop War on Iran statement and for appreciating the sufferings endured by the people of Iran, I am disappointed by his weak coverage of Iranian communists and of those outside of Iran who promote Iranian communist terrorists.

... Read more

3. The History of Iran (The Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations)
by Elton L. Daniel
Paperback: 320 Pages (2008-10-30)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$22.48
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0313361002
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

With almost three thousand years of history, Iran is home to one of the world's richest and most complex cultures. Yet to the average American the name Iran probably conjures up an image of a remote and upstart country inhabited by a people whose religious fanaticism is matched only by the intensity of their disdain for the United States and its values, who speak an obscure tongue called Farsi, and whose identity is not clearly distinguished from that of their Arab neighbors. This work offers an objective and engagingly written portrait of the Iranian people and their complex history from the perspective of one of the world's foremost experts on the country. It is ideal for student use and for the interested reader.

Following a timeline of key events in the history of Iran and an overview chapter of the land and its people today, ten chapters trace the history of the country from its roots in prehistory to the many cultures and civilizations that ruled the area before the nation state was forged in the early 20th century. The only completely up-to-date history of Iran, the work covers in detail the era of the Shah, Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution, the Khomeini era, the era of reconstruction, and contemporary Iran at the dawn of the 21st century. Short biographical profiles of key historical figures, a glossary of terms, and a bibliographic essay add reference value to the work.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This books excels in its intention: to provide a useful history of Iran. It guides without browbeating, informs the reader without opining the reader with extra epithets, and just generally equips the reader to understand the context of modern developments in Iran. Now I understand what it means when I read that Aminejad is an unknown but conservative backer of the Islamic Revolution, and that is something that I would not have without this book. If you want to understand Iran, this is an excellent tool.

5-0 out of 5 stars A very valuable resource
Ayatollah Rouhallah Khomeini and Vladimir I. Lenin were on opposite ends of the spectrum regarding religion. Khomeini demanded that the masses live by it and Lenin considered it an opiate for the masses. And yet, these two men had much in common. Both were revolutionaries, dedicated to the overthrow of a monarchy they despised and were successful in doing so. After they rose to power, each tried to export their revolution, causing their country to be diplomatically and economically isolated. Khomeini and Lenin both possessed a single-minded devotion to their cause, and they were ruthless in maneuvering to have anyone who could oppose their leadership eliminated.
The last third of the book is devoted to the revolution in Iran that brought Khomeini to power and the aftermath and I was riveted as I read through the pages. I watched the revolution on television as it unfolded so most of the names and events were familiar to me. Like so many political figures who are reviled outside their nation, Khomeini was a political genius, very much under appreciated for his ability to garner and maintain support, even in the wake of disasters.
The incompetence of almost every other force in the Iranian revolution is also described in great detail. The Carter administration was positively schizophrenic in dealing with the Shah, one section strongly trying to prop him up and others criticizing him for the massive human rights violations under his rule. However, I cannot put all of the blame on Carter. The American intelligence community was a pathetic failure. It appears that no one anywhere in the American government considered the revolution any threat to the Shah until the very end. This same community stated without qualification that Saddam Hussein possessed massive amounts of weapons of mass destruction before the second gulf war and failed to anticipate the collapse of the Soviet Union. At least in those cases they could make a plausible argument that those were closed societies so that it was hard to obtain any information one the ground. However, given the enormous American involvement in Iran under the Shah, their lack of real knowledge about the country is inexcusable. I consider this to be the greatest American intelligence failure of the last half-century.
The Shah himself proved to be very weak, quite likely due to his illness. At the time, he was suffering from the cancer that took his life a few years later. Therefore, as Daniel emphasizes, this illness may have been the root cause of his vacillation when only strong actions could prevent chaos. In the end, he simply could not bring himself to order his army and secret police to kill the tens of thousands of people that would have had to die to put down the revolution.
While Iran/Persia has a history going back thousands of years and the early events are important in learning why Iran is the way it is, the really interesting events occurred in the last one hundred years. Slightly less than half of the book is devoted to the history of Iran before the twentieth century and Daniel does a good job in setting the historical, ethnic, religious and geographical background of Iran and the neighboring countries. The rise of Shah Mohammad Pahlavi from the ashes of his father's being forced by the Soviet Union and Britain to abdicate when they occupied the country in the Second World War are the beginnings of one of the most amazing historical events of the twentieth century.
When he regained the throne after the war, the Shah was faced with enormous problems, the worst of which was a country severely fragmented. There are many different ethnic groups in Iran and at the time, the primary loyalty that most had was to their tribe rather than to the central government. The Soviet Union had occupied the northern regions and as they were active in promoting the Tudeh or Iranian communist party. Therefore, the Shah not only had to assert the authority of the central government, but he also had to deal with the Soviet Union and Britain, convincing them to withdraw their troops and adopt a policy of minimal interference. I was impressed with Daniel's descriptions of these events. In navigating around all of these potential problems, the Shah showed a level of geopolitical acumen that few people give him credit for. At a time when Joseph Stalin was ruthlessly taking control of the Eastern half of Europe, China had fallen under communist control, and North Korea was preparing to invade South Korea it is amazing that the Soviet Union largely left Iran alone. Unlike so many other Islamic areas, the Tudeh was strong in Iran, probably strong enough to have taken power with a small amount of Soviet assistance. Given that access to a warm water port had been a strategic goal of the Russians from the days when they first entered the Caucasus region, and control of Iran would have given them that goal, I will never understand why Stalin didn't orchestrate a communist coup in Iran.
However, the price that the Shah had to pay in order to maintain independence was very high. The British oil concession was one of the most one-sided in the history of the planet; it is unbelievable to read the numbers on how little was actually paid to the Iranians for their oil in 1950. Since the Shah also could not unilaterally keep the Soviets out, he relied heavily on Western help, which allowed the opposition to paint him as a puppet. All this led to the assumption of power by Mohammad Mosaddeq, who reduced the power of the Shah and embarked on a policy of nationalizing the Iranian oil fields. This is another area where Daniel is excellent in his descriptions of the events and their causes. A counter-coup, supported by the American CIA and British agents, overthrew Mosaddeq and restored the Shah to power. In the intervening years, Mosaddeq has been rehabilitated into a man who led a popular coup and was cynically deposed by the CIA. That is false, Mosaddeq did a lot of stupid things while in power, showing none of the Shah's innate understanding of political realities. In the end, the coup that removed him from power was a popular one and the CIA had to do very little to aid the forces that restored the Shah. It was gratifying to read the truth about Mosaddeq.
In closing, this is a book that should be read by anyone who wants to learn about Iran. It has been stated that it is a rogue state and one of the three members of the "Axis of Evil." While that is a debatable point, Iran is one of the most complex countries in the world, and there are no easy answers to any approach to interacting with their leadership. This book does not have all the answers, but it has enough of them to make it a very valuable resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Concise, Profound History of Iran
Elton Daniel's brief history of Iran may be the most sober, realistic analysis of contemporary Iranian history in print. His sober assessment of the Islamic Republic's present and near future bears close scrutiny, and is far less optimistic than Robin Wright's. Yet it is also a fine introduction to Iranian history from prehistory to the present. Among its finest chapters are those devoted to the ancient Persian Empire of Cyrus and Darius I, the Parthians, medieval Persian history, and the early modern history of Iran through the rise of the Qajar Dynasty. Yet, as I pointed out earlier, it is most noteworthy for its coverage of recent Iranian history. Students of Iranian history and of the Middle East may find this essential reading. ... Read more

4. Understanding Iran: Everything You Need to Know, From Persia to the Islamic Republic, From Cyrus to Ahmadinejad
by William R. Polk
Hardcover: 272 Pages (2009-10-27)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$15.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 023061678X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

William R. Polk provides an informative, readable history of a country which is moving quickly toward becoming the dominant power and culture of the Middle East. A former member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Council, Polk describes a country and a history misunderstood by many in the West. While Iranians chafe under the yolk of their current leaders, they also have bitter memories of generations of British, Russian and American espionage, invasion, and dominance. There are important lessons to be learned from the past, and Polk teases them out of a long and rich history and shows that it is not just now, but for decades to come that an understanding of Iran will be essential to American safety and well-being.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Understanding Iran
As with most of William Polk's books, the author who has spent half a century studying the area brings his exstensive knowledge of the past to us.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
The best book that clearly identifies the reason we have such big problems in the Middle East, lack of understanding.Everyone who wants to understand America's current domestic & International problems should read this book.If politicians who cared had read this book earlier, most likely so many American and Iraqie lives would not have been wasted in the war over oil. ... Read more

5. Comprehensive History of the Jews of Iran: The Outset of the Diaspora
by Habib Lavi, Hooshang Ebrami
Hardcover: 597 Pages (1999-06)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$42.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568590865
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great scholar work
I had the privilege of meeting Habib Levy in the late 60s. Habib Levy was a true Iranian patriot. The first Jewish officer in the Iranian army. The book is fabulous and is a translation and abridgement of a much larger scholarly set of books published originally in Farsi.

5-0 out of 5 stars Ignore "Adam"'s review
Adam's review shows this book (and others like it) are desperately needed.To take away the anti-Semetic liars spin on the world (so often controlling the media).

On the eve of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, 80,000 Jews lived in Iran. In the wake of the upheaval, tens of thousands of Jews, especially the wealthy, left the country, leaving behind vast amounts of property.Today as little as 25,000 jews live in the country.

The Council of the Jewish Community, which was established after World War II, is the representative body of the community. The Jews also have a representative in parliament who is obligated by law to support Iranian foreign policy and its anti-Zionist position.

Despite the official distinction between "Jews," "Zionists," and "Israel," the most common accusation the Jews encounter is that of maintaining contacts with Zionists. The Jewish community is faced with constant suspicion of cooperating with the Zionist state and with "imperialistic America" - both such activities are punishable by death. Jews who apply for a passport to travel abroad must do so in a special bureau, are immediately put under surveillance and must pay an additional fee. The government does not generally allow all members of a family to travel abroad at the same time to prevent Jewish emigration. Again, the Jews live under the status of dhimmi, with the restrictions im posed on religious minorities. Jewish leaders fear government reprisals if they draw attention to official mistreatment of their community.

Iran's official government-controlled media often issues anti-Semitic propaganda. A prime example is the government's publishing of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a notorious Czarist forgery, in 1994 and 1999.2 Jews also suffer varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education, and public accommodations.

The Islamization of the country has brought about strict control over Jewish educational institutions. Before the revolution, there were some 20 Jewish schools functioning throughout the country. In recent years, most of these have been closed down. In the remaining schools, Jewish principals have been replaced by Muslims. In Teheran there are still three schools in which Jewish pupils constitute a majority. The curriculum is Islamic, and Persian is forbidden as the language of instruction for Jewish studies. Special Hebrew lessons are conducted on Fridays by the Orthodox Otzar ha-Torah organization, which is responsible for Jewish religious education. Saturday is no longer officially recognized as the Jewish sabbath, and Jewish pupils are compelled to attend school on that day. There are three synagogues in Teheran, but since 1994, there has been no rabbi in Iran, and the bet din (Rabbinical court) does not function.

Following the overthrow of the shah and the declaration of an Islamic state in 1979, Iran severed relations with Israel. The country has subsequently supported many of the Islamic terrorist organizations that target Jews and Israelis, particularly the Lebanon-based, Hezbollah. Nevertheless, Iran's Jewish community is the largest in the Middle East outside Israel.

On the eve of Passover in 1999, 13 Jews from Shiran and Isfahan in southern Iran were arrested and accused of spying for Israel and the United States. Those arrested include a rabbi, a ritual slaughterer and teachers. In September 2000, an Iranian appeals court upheld a decision to imprison ten of the thirteen Jews accused of spying for Israel. In the appeals court, ten of the accused were found guilty of cooperating with Israel and were given prison terms ranging from two to nine years. Three of the accused were found innocent in the first trial.5 In March 2001, one of the imprisoned Jews was released, a second was freed in January 2002, the remaining eight were set free in late October 2002. The last five apparently were released on furlough for an indefinite period, leaving them vulnerable to future arrest.

At least 13 Jews have been executed in Iran since the Islamic revolution 19 years ago, most of them for either religious reasons or their connection to Israel. For example, in May 1998, Jewish businessman Ruhollah Kakhodah-Zadeh was hanged in prison without a public charge or legal proceeding, apparently for assisting Jews to emigrate.
The Jewish Journal interviewed an Iranian Jew, Frank Nikbakht .

In his groundbreaking article, Nikbakht's most powerful weapon was the reproduction of a large number of official documents from the Iranian press: a mass of neo-Nazi ravings, from the "Protocols of Zion" to anti-Semitic cartoons and interviews with the head of the neo-Nazi group, American Vanguard. Some of the original documents such as the "Protocols" were even amplified and improved upon, with poisonous new fantasies about Jewish evil added to the mix. Even the excerpts from the Koran were expanded with anti-Jewish passages. Although he did not yet know of the arrests in Iran, he warned in his article: "These words can translate into deeds if there is no international pressure."

Nikbakht, one of the leaders of the tiny L.A.-based Committee for Religious Minority Rights in Iran, became aware that there had been a noticeable increase in the amount of anti-Semitism coming from the Iranian press beginning around 1993. By 1995, Jews were accused of bringing AIDS into Iran and causing economic chaos. The ground-work was being laid for greater persecutions. That same year, Fayzollah Mekhubabt, a 78-year-old cantor in a Teheran synagogue, was taken to prison. His eyes were gouged out before he was executed. Mekhubabt was buried in a Muslim cemetery. His family was forced to disinter his remains in order to bury him in a Jewish cemetery.

In 1998, Nikbakht says, an article appeared in the Iran press that indicated the last Jew to be killed had been involved in corruption and espionage. "Every crime in the book he had committed. And the article urged government officials to probe more deeply into the Jewish community because this would not be their last conspiracy. It urged the government to look into all of the cultural, political and economic problems in the country from this perspective. In other words, they suggested blaming the Jews for everything."

His article was published in State Department human rights reports about Iran.

1-0 out of 5 stars Biased History Equals Bad History
The book completely muddles fact, fiction and myths, to leave the reader wondering what to believe, what really happened and what is nothing more than old-wives' tales.

The reason for this is clear:The late Habib Lavi was a self-confessed Zionist, a movement that exaggerates anti-Semitism where it exists and invents it where it doesn't.As such, this is little more than a voluminous piece of propaganda furthering the cause of the Zionist Project, which is to encourage Jews to immigrate to Israel.

The history of the Jews of Iran is one that has been ignored for far too long.There certainly is a fascinating history to be told.But this book is not it.

By his bias towards an alien ideology (Zionism) and a foreign country (Israel), and unscientific methods, Mr. Lavi has betrayed the very subjects of his book, which were his compatriot Iranian Jews.

Then again, he was never fully committed to the fate or welfare of the Iranian Jews in their homeland of Iran, but in persuading them to emigrate to Israel.

(An enterprise which has not been too successful, with Iran still the home of the second largest Jewish community in the Middle East after only Israel.)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must-Read about Jewish History
Until I read this book, I thought I knew a lot about Jewish history. Was I wrong! This book is highly readable and totally fascinating. The author was an Iranian Jew who used original sources--Jewish, Iranian/Persian, and Arabic---in compiling the three-volume work from which this book grew. Written with no European bias, before political correctness took its toll of honesty, this book is a real eye-opener. I highly recommend it to everyone who wants to understand Jewish history, the present Israel-Arab situation, and the roots of the terror war now engulfing the world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history of oldest Jewish community in diaspora
This is a fascinating history of the oldest Jewish community in the Diaspora. In an initial chapter,the author makes a credible case that the ten lost tribes of Israel are really the Jews of Kurdistan and othernorthern provinces of ancient Persia. Since Babylon was a Persian provincefor a thousamd years, the Babylonia talmud was really a product of Persia'sJewish community and Persia was the center of Jewish thought for a thousandyears. The book also chronicles what life was really like for Jews underIslam and completely undercuts the myth that Jews were protected frompersecution, mass murder and forced conversions in Islamic countries.TheJewish experience in Persia is put in the context of general Persianhistory in each chapter. The role of the clerics in state rule is amplyillustrated and makes understandable the current Islamic regime in Iran andwhy the populace has accepted the rule of the Islamicists.This is animportant book for those who want to understand Jewish history andforthose who want to know how religious minorities are treated in Islamiccountries. ... Read more

6. Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts of History (Cross-Cultural Negotiation Books)
by John W. Limbert
Paperback: 200 Pages (2009-09-14)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$10.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1601270437
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
As the United States weighs a change of approach toward the Iranian government after thirty years of confrontation, John Limbert steps up with a pragmatic yet positive assessment of how to engage Iran. Through four detailed case studies of past successes and failures, he draws lessons for today s negotiators, and he challenges both Americans and Iranians to end decades of mutually hostile mythmaking. While he acknowledges that any progress at best will be measured in baby steps, Limbert provides clear reasons for renewing dialogue and outlines 14 principles to guide the American who finds himself in a negotiation commercial, political, or other with an Iranian counterpart. John Limbert writes from a personal and professional perspective, combining a deep appreciation and knowledge of Iranian culture and history, first-hand diplomatic experience, and an understanding of what it means to negotiate for the lives of Americans. Anyone interested in understanding U.S.-Iranian history and relations will find this volume invaluable. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars BATNAS and what that's all about!
I think that if anyone has the right to an opinion about Iran US relations and how to improve them, it is Ambassador John Limbert. He was held for 14 months in the former US Embassy in Tehran from 1979 to 1981.
In his book"Negotiating With Iran; wrestling with ghosts of history," he does a masterful job of educating anyone who is interested in the truth, about the events which have poisoned the relations between these two nations and created myths on both sides, which stand in the way of peace.
Some of his insights on incidents which were murky to me at best, such as the Iran Contra Affair and the roles of such individuals as Michael Ledeen, Manouchehr Ghorbaniffar and Albert Hakim were illuminating of the ineptitude of various administrations, that they would rely upon such questionable intermediaries and trade arms for hostages with no real evidence that Iran could influence events in Lebanon. Limbert fearlessly and impartially exposes mistakes made on both sides and he talks openly about the US backing Iraq in the Iran Iraq War.
For anyone who cannot understand where the Iranian animosity comes from, Limbert explains it all from things as obvious as the 1953 CIA sponsored coup to oust Mossadeg and reinstate the Shah, to subtler things like "S.O.F.A."(Status of Forces Agreement) which gave US military and their dependants residing in Iran during the '60 and `70's immunity from Iranian laws.
Ambassador Limbert has come up with a set of 14 steps to negotiate with Iran which have greater odds of success than the past three decades of mutual animosity, much of which has been generated and kept alive by self serving politicians on both sides. He is realistic about what might be accomplished or considered success. Avoiding clichés and foregone conclusions which lead to self fulfilling prophecies and recognizing that the substance of initial negotiation will be largely symbolic are points that he stresses.
At the time that Limbert wrote this book, he was professor of history at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis and a fellow at the US Institute of Peace which is an NGO. I am pleased that Mr. Obama has recognized John Limbert as an asset and made him Deputy Assistant Secretary of State to the Iran bureau in the Middle East Department of the State Department. John Limbert is a man who knows Iran, loves Iran and wants peace. He is fluent in Arabic, Persian and French and he once taught for many years in Iranian schools prior to the revolution of 1979. The fact that he went to the trouble to research and write this book in the interest of peace speaks volumes about his character and his personal commitment to this mission. I highly recommend reading this book for anyone struggling for the truth beneath the constant propaganda barrage being fired from radicals on both sides.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wise and highly recommended read for those who seek a better understanding of the current crisis
Iran is something that must be approached gingerly. "Negotiating with Iran: Wrestling the Ghosts
of History" discusses how to approach the Iranian government when the United States and Iran have had a shaky relationship for decades, through much of the countries' shared existence. John Limbert puts his scholarly mind with advice to diplomats and other international negotiators on how to come out of this conflict a more peaceful world, and averting a potential nuclear crisis. "Negotiating with Iran" is a wise and highly recommended read for those who seek a better understanding of the current crisis.
... Read more

7. A Social History of Sexual Relations in Iran
by Willem Floor
Paperback: 480 Pages (2008-08-04)
list price: US$50.00 -- used & new: US$42.33
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 193382333X
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This study illuminates the 2,500-year social history of sexual relations in Iran. Marriage, temporary marriage, prostitution, and homosexuality are all discussed, as well as the often unintended result of these relations--sexually transmitted diseases. A Social History of Sexual Relations in Iran uses travelers accounts, Iranian and international archival sources, as well as government data, to bring together, in detail, and within the context of Iranian culture and religion, the nature, variety, and problems of sexual relations in Iran over the ages. Finally, Willem Floor summarizes the issues that Iranian society faces today--which are not dissimilar to that of many other industrial nations--the challenge to the male claim to dominance over women; change in the age of marriage; premarital sex; rising divorce rates; rising promiscuity; prostitution; sexually transmitted diseases; homosexuality; and street children.




Marriage In Iran: A Family Affair
Imperial Iran
Achaemenid Period (559 330 BCE)
Parthian (227 BCE 224 CE) And Sasanian Periods (226 651)
Islamic Period (651 To Date)
Premarital Sex
Islamic Rules Concerning Marriage Contract Equality
Marriage Restrictions (Family, Other Relationships, And Religion)
Socio-Economic Selection Criteria
Preference For Consanguineous Marriage
Virgins Only
Widows May Also Apply
How To Select A Partner
Royal Prerogatives In Selecting Women
Bedroom Do's And Don'ts
Erotic Stimulants
Marital Bliss

Chapter Two

Temporary Marriage A Formal Affair
Islamic Iran
What Is Temporary Marriage?
Safavid Afsharid Zand Period (1501 1794)
Qajar Period (1794-1925)
Temporary Marriage And Christians And Jews (1520s 1900)
Pahlavi Period (1925 1979)
Islamic Republic Of Iran (1979 To Date)

Prostitutionan and Extra-Marital Affair
Imperial Iran
Achaemenid Parthian
Sasanian Period (559 BCE 651 CE)
Islamic Period
Caliphate Until The Mongol Period (653 1258)Mongol Ilkhanid Timurid Turkman Period (1258 1500)
Who Were The Prostitutes?
In Which Towns Did Prostitutes Work?
The Wages Of Sin
Was There A Red Light District?
Streetwalkers And Others
What About Non-Moslem Males?
Did Prostitutes Wear Special Dress?
Prostitution: A Taxing Affair
Were Prostitutes Protected?
Were Dancing And Singing Girls Prostitutes?
Bans On Prostitution
Afsharid Zand Period (1736 1794)
Qajar Period (1794 1925)
Pahlavi Period (1925 1979)
Islamic Republic Of Iran (1979 To Date)
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Orientalist/Colonial Propaganda
I purchased this book thinking that it would be a work of serious scholarship and depth.Given that it would be a social history of sexual relations in Iran, I thought it was quite a unique and needed piece of work. In other words, it would be nothing short of a classic.

However, upon reading its first few pages I realized that I was dead wrong.What I saw was that it was nothing more than cherry picking vices committed by a few and stereotyping them to Muslim Orientals. By the author's tone and sometimes unscholarly way of writing (consider for example the following so-called "scholarly" way of writing: "women...they have to make him [the husband] happy (even if he is a jerk)" [p. 120]) you could see where he is getting at and what his overall agenda is. Now obviously these lines are not the reason why I gave the book two stars, but are merely there to show you the already pre-established bias of the author in regards to gender relations in Iran.
To make my critique brief, I will only deal with his first chapter that deals with "MARRIAGE IN IRAN: A FAMILY AFFAIR".

To begin, the overall portrayal that the author presents us with is that which comes out of a nightmare. The Oriental man, exemplified in Iran, is that of a mentally deranged pervert. He sleeps around with as many women and boys as he can. He kidnaps other people's wives, imprisons them in his home and rapes them. When he is tired, he goes on raping young beardless boys. When he has sexual relations with his wife, they are of the domineering coitus type. There is absolutely no regard for her pleasure or her happiness, foreplay is anathemaand there is no such thing as love between couples except in rare cases which the author kindly presents to delude himself and others into thinking that he is being nuanced. Thus, to have loving emotions towards a wife is nothing short of anathema and you are stuck with a whole population that by in large do not know what marital love is (he does present some rare cases of love, but makes sure to show them as rare exceptions) ... it therefore took the introduction of Western romanticism and Hollywood to teach those barbarian brown men and women what love is!

To put it in another way, men hate women as they are nothing but sexual objects which they dispose of when they see a young beardless boy.The women in turn are a depressed, unhappy and a miserable lot of people. It is only through the process of modernization (i.e. Europeanization/Westernization) that the Orient, including the Iranian populace, becomes civilized and women for the first time throughout their wretched history start to see a light in the end of the tunnel. It is through this process of modernization where through the teachings of the civilized White Man that they have a chance to a happy life after thousands of years of oppression by despotic, mentally deranged brown men.

I acknowledge that it would be unfair to the author to deny that such sexual perversions happened.In fact they did happen but it was largely (not always) at the elitist level of society which excludes 95% of the population. At times the author does allude to this, however in many cases he does not clarify it and leaves the reader with the impression that this kind of behavior saturated the entire Oriental population. Janet Afary in her work "Sexual Politics in Modern Iran" clearly outlines the different worlds that the elite and general population lived in, and rightly criticizes Orientalist scholarship on the general negative depiction of the Iranian population as sexual perverts. Unfortunately, Floor does not heed that.

This however is to be expected. The author largely (but not all the time) relies on European missionary and traveler journals and accounts. This is a group of accounts which we know today are not reliable as they often presented a heavily distorted picture of their experiences as those experiences were extremely limited and their understandings were severely biased.We know for a fact that they often related horrible accounts of women's experiences in the East (although the women in question faired much better than Europe at the time) so as to morally justify colonial invasions at the behest of their masters. Those accounts that he does relate from actual domestic sources are most the time (with some exceptions) depictions of elitist court life which he often portrays as reality on the larger social realm. It does not even dawn on him that maybe those accounts of the elites might be exaggerated as well (this tends to be a trend in those historical accounts, consider for example Ahsan al-Tawarikh or Qisas al-Ulema by Tunikabuni as examples of this).Furthermore, when he does use domestic accounts, he makes sure to pick out the most vile and perverted accounts with only minimal attempt (here and there) to portray the more positive and inviting accounts present in those works.

He rarely questions the accounts given by the European travelers and missionaries. The only times he does is when the accounts are too preposterous to believe. For example, on p. 113 he quotes Gobineau as saying that in the 1850s, "most women of 24 years of age had already been divorced once or more times". It is only when the exaggerations are too large like this one that he critiques the account given as he (thank God) does in that page.

To give an example of why women were so miserable and depressed, he gives examples from Forough Farrokhzad's poetry for how women hated their men, husbands and the whole nature of their patriarchic society. However, it does not dawn on him that Farrokhzad was a suicidal, mentally unstable elitist self-hating Iranian (despite her so called "great" poetry) who shamelessly took pride in her adultery in public (this last part is acknowledged by Floor). I hardly doubt she would be the best example of how Iranian women in generally felt.

This being said, consider his interesting treatment of divorce. There he relies on Merrit-Hawkes' account on divorced women where "a considerable number of divorced woman (sic.) go on the streets hence a number of these `public ladies' are socially different from those in Europe" (p. 114). This obviously happened, however Floor makes no effort to try to portray the general trend and leaves the impression that most divorcees ended up as "public ladies".We know that the overall picture was in fact a positive one, contrary to what he tries to portray. We know from Janet Afary's work that divorced women rarely faced stigma and re-marriage was quite easy and perfectly acceptable, even up to the 4th time of remarriage (Sexual Politics in Modern Iran, p. 27). In fact, Afary shows that as re-marriage was not difficult, the second marriages were often more pleasurable and less traumatizing for the women. According to one account, rarely did you find people unmarried in Iran as per the observation of one of the Qajar king's European physicians. However, Floor seems mostly interested in portraying a chaotic scene in Iran without making much effort to show a more nuanced view of things.

Another interesting and devious portrayal is that of Shia law and the prerogatives of men and women. He carefully takes his time to show the obligations of women towards their husbands (heeding his sexual needs, not going out of the home without his permission etc.) but falls short on men's obligations towards their wives so as to fit his portrayal of the so-called misogynistic reality of Islam (this of course is clear from his writings, although he does not explicitly say it). He completely fails to show the many disadvantages men face in the law. For example, women have absolutely no obligation to take care of the children, cook, clean or show respect towards his family. They can even charge their husbands a fee (by the law) for breast feeding their children and demand for maids to help around the house if they can afford it. Thus they have a free ticket to a relaxed life where they sit down all day, drink tea, eat dates and gossip with their friends. The only kind of work they are obliged to do is have sex with their husbands whom is mostly out of the house anyways working to provide for her relaxed life. If the argument here is that this did not reflect cultural reality (i.e. not cooking, cleaning and taking care of children), then the same can go for men. I highly doubt women succumbed all the time to their husbands or actually sought permission to go out of the house (this is apparent in any Islamic community if only he lived in one; obviously he has not experienced that). Furthermore, like many feminists working on Iran and gender, he portrays treaties' of law as the whole of Shi'ite law which only deal with the borders of the law. He does not consider the larger gray area that exists within the borders which are present in books of ethics (akhlaq) that are quite pro-woman nor the vindicatory works of law (i.e. fiqh al-istidlali whom are encyclopedic works of law) which contain a plethora of advantageous rules and loop holes for women). Thus if you want to portray an Islamic view of women, one should know what the law is and portray it in its entirety, and not selectively.
Floor concludes the chapter by saying that women are gaining some hope through modernization. It seems to reflect the old British Puritan Conversionist method of "philo-semitism" where they tried to destroy Jewish society by converting their women through convincing them that their religion, culture and men were nothing but deranged misogynists (see Jewish Women in Historical Perspective p. 212). Thus the only way to freedom was the Christian White Man's way.

In conclusion, I give it two stars instead of one as the work does do a great deal of research in European sources and is thus very valuable in that sense. However, it is nevertheless a horrible work as a whole as it is a racist, distorted depiction of the Orient, a work that is nothing short of serving modern day colonial interests. This of course is expected from a man who is a de facto agent of the World Bank, an institution which has a vested interest in the bankruptcy,invasion, and pillaging of the third world. This is a job he does all too well with the help of otherself-hating Iranian feminist "native informers" (as Hamid Dabashi called them) in their demonization of Oriental culture and Islam.

For those interested in a good criticism of such racist portrayals of the Orient when it comes to Islamic Law, please see Wael b. Hallaq's Shari'a: Theory, Practice, Transformations.
... Read more

8. Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution, Updated Edition
by Nikki R. Keddie
Paperback: 448 Pages (2006-08-01)
list price: US$19.00 -- used & new: US$5.89
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300121059
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In this updated edition of Nikki Keddie’s Modern Iran—itself a substantially revised and expanded version of her classic work Roots of Revolution—the  author provides a new preface and a fully annotated and indexed epilogue, reviewing recent developments in Iran since 2003. Keddie provides insightful commentary on Iran’s nuclear and foreign policy, its relations with the United Nations and the United States, increasing conservative and hard-line tendencies in the government, and recent developments in the economy, cultural and intellectual life, and human rights.
Reviews of the 2003 edition:
 “[An] essential book for one’s working library.”—L. Carl Brown, Foreign Affairs
“Shifting her historical focus from the roots of the Iranian revolution to its consequences, Nikki Keddie has expanded her original classic to include a sharply probing and perceptive guide to more than two decades of tumultuous developments in the Islamic Republic of Iran.”—Gary Sick

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

1-0 out of 5 stars Iran is No threat
This moron wrote on page 346: Ahmadinejab's statements do not mean that Iran intends aggressive acts.


That's what her liberal peers want to hear.

5-0 out of 5 stars Title: A well-balanced and most authoritative book on Iran's modern history
I have used Professor Nikki Keddie's Modern Iran in the classes I teach on gender and women in the Middle East. By far, this updated edition is the most comprehensive yet concise and accurate social history of modern Iran available for the students of the Middle East, especially Iran. This is a well-balanced account of the past two centuries of Iran, written in a lucid and accessible language. Throughout its 12 chapters and conclusion, it remains keen on the role of Iran's internal, regional and international politics, religion and Shii discourse, secular as well as religious intellectuals, socioeconomic factors, culture, women and gender.Highly Recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Intelligent and readable
Nikki R. Keddie's MODERN IRAN couldn't be more timely. It offers intelligent and balanced analysis of major developments in twentieth-century Iranian history. Moreover, its comprehensive and readable coverage will help the reader understand the Iran of today.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read book on Iran
I am a university instructor and former student of Professor Keddie.I use this book for two of my classes on modern Middle East history and modern history of Iran.Professor Keddie's "Modern Iran" is without a doubt the most updated account of Iran's history during the past two centuries.Even more important, it covers the post-revolution period until the end of Khatami's presidency which makes it a valuable teaching tool.Furthermore, it is easy to read and in this context I usually receive positive comments from my students.If you want a historical overview of Iran, as an important world player and regional power, this is where you need to start.

5-0 out of 5 stars Authoritative and accessible
this is an excellent book: authoritavie, accessible, and balanced... written by the greatest living scholar of Modern Iranian history. Definately the book to start with if you are looking for an overview of Iran in the last two centuries. ... Read more

9. Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces
by Steven R. Ward
Hardcover: 380 Pages (2009-03-15)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1589012585
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
"Immortal" is the only single-volume English-language survey of Iran's military history. CIA analyst Steven R. Ward shows that Iran's soldiers, from the famed Immortals of ancient Persia to today's Revolutionary Guard, have demonstrated through the centuries that they should not be underestimated. This history also provides background on the nationalist, tribal, and religious heritages of the country to help readers better understand Iran and its security outlook."Immortal" begins with the founding of ancient Persia's empire under Cyrus the Great and continues through the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and up to the present. Drawing on a wide range of sources including declassified documents, the author gives primary focus to the modern era to relate the build-up of the military under the last Shah, its collapse during the Islamic revolution, its fortunes in the Iran-Iraq War, and its rise from the ashes to help Iran become once again a major regional military power. He shows that, despite command and supply problems, Iranian soldiers demonstrate high levels of bravery and perseverance and have enjoyed surprising tactical successes even when victory has been elusive.These qualities and the Iranians' ability to impose high costs on their enemies by exploiting Iran's imposing geography bear careful consideration today by potential opponents. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

3-0 out of 5 stars Even handed account with several errors
The author has done a good job of providing an even handed and fair account of the Iranian military history as best as any one historian could. Though the book focuses more on modern and contemporary Iranian military history. I think this book by far is the most even handed account of Iran's military history I have ever read. I liked it as someone who comes from a military background myself. Especially the sections that discussed the Iranian operations in Dhofar. I have met with several veterans of that campaign and the accounts provided by the author are genuinely true.

Though there were a few typos and historical errors. For instance, the author says that the Iranian air force was established in 1955. That's incorrect and not historically accurate. The independent Iranian air force was established by Reza Shah in mid 1920s when he purchased French, German & Russian aircraft. One can view this piece of info by checking [...] website. The other factual error is that the author has placed surface to air missile capabilities within the Iranian army/land forces jurisdiction/control. That's also incorrect. Air force always maintained and operated these networks and army did not/do not operate any SAM systems except shoulder fired ones. The other incorrect data is author's claims the Iranians were going to buy short range/low level British made SAMS (known as Rapier) by late 1970s. This is also not correct as the Iranians had bought such systems in early 1970s and the British Rapier was being phased out of service with the introduction of more advanced I-Hawk SAM systems and possible purchase of German/French SAM systems in early 80s (p197). On page 198, where the author is talking about the navy, there are mentions of French fast attack boats (La Combatant) that author claims to have been equipped with famous Exocet missiles. This is another factual error. The Iranian navy or armed forces never acquired Exocet missiles. Only in late 980s, Iranians were provided with shore to ship Chinese version/copy of Exocet missile called Silk Worm by China that were used against allied war ships and arab oil tankers during the much debated tanker war in Persian gulf in 1986-88 period.

All in all, this book is a good one. I'd recommend it to those who lack basic knowledge about the Iranian military history.

4-0 out of 5 stars A WORTHWHILE TRIP
This is an interesting account of the military in Iran's history. It is useful for specialists and a joy to read for amateurs. The author uses history as a tool for understanding the present and predicting the future. His method and style reminds those faimilar with contemporary Iranian political writing of such eminent Iranian authors as Fereydoun Hoveyda, Dariyoush Shayegan, Amir Taheri, Roy Mottahede and Ervand Abrahamian. In other words, Ward understands Iran and Iranians.

5-0 out of 5 stars Iran's Military and Where It Came From
Iran traces its military heritage back to the ancient Persian Empire, a nation which stretched all the way to the Mediterranean in the west and the Indian frontier in the east. One way of understanding Iran's armed forces is to read this book).

The author does a great job of studying the military traditions, organizations weaknesses and influences of Iran dating to the days of Darius, the Parthians, the Sassanians, the Safavids, the Qajars, the Pahlavis and the Islamic Republic. If an army can have a character then much of Iran's military can trace back the development of character of the horsemen who served on behalf of the tyrants who have ruled the Persian lands at one time or another. Efforts to create more effective forces, like the Gendarmie, the Persian Cossacks and the Pasdaran have had problems due to the culture of Iran and these are discussed in the book.

In order to understand Iran's current dual military, divided as it is between the Artesh (regular armed forces) and the Pasdaran (IGRC), you need this book as it puts them into historical context.

Overall, well-researched and well-written. The maps make it much easier to follow and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A key acquisition for both military and college-level collections strong in Middle East studies
IMMORTAL is the only single-volume, English-language survey of Iran's military history and comes from a CIA analyst who shows that Iran's soldiers throughout history should not be underestimated. Background on Iran's social, cultural and military organization discusses everything from the founding of its empire to modern times and is a key acquisition for both military and college-level collections strong in Middle East studies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very informative
Not only did this book provide the long view of Irannin history but it also provides an excellent 20th century background for the present situation. My understanding is much better now. ... Read more

10. Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty
by Ali Gheissari, Vali Nasr
Paperback: 232 Pages (2009-07-24)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$16.15
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0195396960
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Today Iran is once again in the headlines. Reputed to be developing nuclear weapons, the future of Iraq's next-door neighbor is a matter of grave concern both for the stability of the region and for the safety of the global community. President George W. Bush labeled it part of the "Axis of Evil," and rails against the country's authoritarian leadership. Yet as Bush trumpets the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East, few note that Iran has one of the longest-running experiences with democracy in the region.

In this book, Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr look at the political history of Iran in the modern era, and offer an in-depth analysis of the prospects for democracy to flourish there. After having produced the only successful Islamist challenge to the state, a revolution, and an Islamic Republic, Iran is now poised to produce a genuine and indigenous democratic movement in the Muslim world. Democracy in Iran is neither a sudden development nor a western import, Gheissari and Nasr argue. The concept of democracy in Iran today may appear to be a reaction to authoritarianism, but it is an old idea with a complex history, one that is tightly interwoven with the main forces that have shaped Iranian society and politics, institutions, identities, and interests. Indeed, the demand for democracy first surfaced in Iran a century ago at the end of the Qajar period, and helped produce Iran's surprisingly liberal first constitution in 1906. Gheissari and Nasr seek to understand why democracy failed to grow roots and lost ground to an autocratic Iranian state. Why was democracy absent from the ideological debates of the 1960s and 1970s? Most important, why has it now become a powerful social, political, and intellectual force? How have modernization, social change, economic growth, and the experience of the revolution converged to make this possible? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars A good primer
An excellent history of modern Iran and the Islamic Republic, as well as the struggle for democracy, all the way up until Ahmadinejad and the elections he stole and the democracy movement that followed it. It would great if the authors updated the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars A good historical survey
The two Iranian-American scholars argue that quest for democracy began in Iran over a century ago and there are structural reasons why it has not succeeded. They argue to develop Iran has invested in building a powerful state which has then made democracy impossible. Recent suppression of election riots show that the state is still suppressing democracy. The book is also a very good historical survey of modern Iran.

3-0 out of 5 stars Great analysis, no theme
In this book, Gheissari and Nasr propose to use Iran as a way to study the relationship between democracy and the state. However, I found this book most useful for understanding the changing role of the Iranian state during the 20th century. It explores the interest groups that supported the various governments and dynamics during different periods. The book can serve as a more sophisticated political history of Iran for somebody who is already vaguely familiar with the key historical events and figures. This is not a book for beginners.

The book's theory is not well developed and really only addressed in the introduction. In the introduction, they state that democracy must permeate citizens' minds before it can change their political system. The suggest that they will focus on the ideology of democracy as a variable in democracy-building. However, there was relatively little discussion of democracy per se as opposed to the state and interest group politics. For example, the authors note whom the middle class and "bazar" supported at certain times. They argue one of the Shah's major weaknesses was that he focused on winning the support of the middle class, rather than the broader poor. The discussion is extremely useful for understanding the Iranian state and state-society relations, but the book really only focuses on democracy during the Khatami presidency. Even then, it is not clear that people in Iran do not accept democracy, but rather that they viewed the democratic Khatami's administration as having failed to push reforms. Perhaps the authors could have included a conclusion to tie their theory together for the reader, but as is the book is unconvincing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Good Primer on Iran
Will Iran be a democracy? Gheissari and Nasr gives a good overview of history of Irania history with one point in mind: why has there been so much debate over democracy but no real democracy. This is a serious book with a good deal of history. A must read for all those who discuss future of democracy in the Muslim world and Iran.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended
This a serious and smart book about the history of democracy in a Muslim country. It shows that democracy is not a new idea for Iranians. They have debated and experimented with it, and why they have failed to become democratic has more to do with political developments in that country than any other issue. The authors do a good job of explaining the weight of historical developments in how democracy develops and why its succeeds or fails. A good news in this book is that despite its harsh government there is more debate and interest in democracy than at any other time in recent Iranian history, and more Iranians now see it as a practical idea than before. ... Read more

11. The Economic History of Iran, 1800-1914 (Centre for Middle Eastern Studies)
 Hardcover: 424 Pages (1971-01)
list price: US$27.00 -- used & new: US$193.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0226386066
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

12. Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran (Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East)
Hardcover: 408 Pages (2004-05)
list price: US$49.95 -- used & new: US$34.16
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815630182
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
If you are from Iran or not, its a must read. Gives insight to the
complexity of Politics in the Middle East and how being patriotic
is perceived by the governments outside of Iran. Needless to say
change of government when orchestrated from abroad does have
bad results in the long run, in Iran, Iraq, or any other country.

4-0 out of 5 stars Good book to read when you know enough to ask questions
The book contains a series of essays fleshing out the circumstances of the 1953 overthrow of Mossadeq.The American sponsored coup ended a decade long struggle to democratize Iran, and the monarchy didn't face a serious political challenge again until it's demise in the revolution of 1979.

The essays in this book address important questions: why was the National Front so weak?Why did it ultimately take so little to overthrow Mossadeq, and what was the role of the communist Tudeh party?Why did Eisenhower support the coup?It also raises some interesting questions:How did Mossadeq shift the economy completely away from oil dependency without causing mass unemployment or recession, what parties lost in that shift and what effect did they have on National Front support?

Missing from the edition is a critical analysis of Mossadeq himself.He relied on mass demonstrations rather then political coalitions for power, and fundamentally did not seem to want power unless people begged him to accept it.Is it any wonder his partners turned on him?

I'd recommend this as the second book people read for understanding 1953.

5-0 out of 5 stars Many new insights!
Based on archival research, the book provides many new details.However, I would have liked to have a seen a discussion of Ayatollah Kashani's position with respect to Iranian oil exports to Israel. ... Read more

13. Factional Politics in Post-Khomeini Iran (Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East)
by Mehdi Moslem
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-10)
list price: US$29.95 -- used & new: US$18.51
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0815629788
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A profound analysis of the diverse political, socio-cultural, economic, and foreign policy issues that have engulfed revolutionary-Islamic Iran since its inception. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars An insightful and revealing survey and analysis
Factional Politics In Post-Khomeini Iran by Mehdi Moslem (Research Associate, Oriental Institute, Oxford University) is an insightful and revealing survey and analysis of Iran's modern political history, focusing especially on the landslide victory of President Mohammad Khatami and the ensuing struggle between reformers and the entrenched conservative religionists. Competing ideologies, and practical issues versus a sometimes dangerous conflict are cogently outlined in this informative account. Factional Politics In Post-Khomeini Iran is an important and strongly recommended addition to Middle East Studies in general, and contemporary Iranian political history reading lists in particular. ... Read more

14. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire (Library of Middle East History)
by Andrew J. Newman
Paperback: 288 Pages (2008-12-15)
list price: US$31.00 -- used & new: US$20.46
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1845118308
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The Safavid dynasty, which reigned from the late fifteenth to the eighteenth century, links medieval with modern Iran. The Safavids witnessed wide-ranging developments in politics, warfare, science, philosophy, religion, art and architecture. But how did this dynasty manage to produce the longest lasting and most glorious of Iran’s Islamic-period eras?

Andrew Newman offers a complete re-evaluation of the Safavid place in history as they presided over these extraordinary developments and the wondrous flowering of Iranian culture.  In the process, he dissects the Safavid story, from before the 1501 capture of Tabriz by Shah Ismail (1488-1524), the point at which Shi`ism became the realm's established faith; on to the sixteenth and early seventeenth century dominated by Shah Abbas (1587-1629), whose patronage of art and architecture from his capital of Isfahan embodied the Safavid spirit; and culminating with the reign of Sultan Husayn (reg. 1694-1722).

Based on meticulous scholarship, Newman offers a valuable new interpretation of the rise of the Safavids and their eventual demise in the eighteenth century. Safavid Iran, with its fresh insights and new research, is the definitive single volume work on the subject.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars Safavid Empire not Persian or Iranian but AZERBAIJAN
Safavid Empire which included Persia was created and ruled by Azeri-Turkic. This state covered east of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, some parts of Iraq and even Nothern India.

Persian-nationalist historians 'work hard' to claim this State as Persian, which is completely wrong and silly.

Shah Ismail I (Khatai - his literture nickname) was truly of Turkic origin (only 1/4 of his blood was of greek-georgian) and wrote ALL his literature in Azeri-Turkic. People in shah palace spoke in Azerbaijani, which was also said by famous Russian scholars.

Shah Ismayil declared Ardabil, Tebriz and other cities of Southern Azerbaijan because he wanted to govern the state better from central location and also because he was originally from Ardabil.

Hence, Safavid Empire is part of today's Azerbaijan Republic history.
Safavid Empire is one of 17 historical turkic empires.

Finally, Persia was under rule of Safavid Turkic Empire.

Therefore, any attempt to call this state as 'Safavid Persia' is absolutely wrong and will be always objected by Azerbaijanis...

4-0 out of 5 stars In The Name of Iran
This is a good book if you want to learn Safavid dynasty breifly.

The author researched on political dynamic, economic prosperity, and social condition of Safavid.

Saddly the book refered to Persian Gulf, as just Gulf. However, there is map which indicated Persian Gulf. ... Read more

15. The Iran-Iraq War 1980-1988 (Essential Histories)
by Efraim Karsh
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-04-25)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$8.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1841763713
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The Iran-Iraq War, which ended in August 1988, one month short of its eighth anniversary, was one of the longest, bloodiest and costliest Third World armed conflicts in the twentieth century. Professor Karsh addresses the causes of the Iran-Iraq War, unpacking the objectives of the two belligerents and examining how far objectives were matched by strategy. He assesses the war's military lessons regarding such key areas as strategy, tactics and escalation and in particular the use of non-conventional weapons, Finally, he examines the utility of armed force as an instrument of foreign policy. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars good
A good overview of a war that was never taught about in my high school. great photos and loved the portrait of a child soldier.

2-0 out of 5 stars Good Source for History and Politics of the War
The historical content and political analysis in the book is so much in line with the way the war was perceived by the media and general public in many countries in the Middle East.

On the other hand, the analysis of the strategy and grand strategy of the war on page 84 is erroneous, and contradicts the basic principles of the theory of strategy.This part of the book shows lack of understanding of the theory of strategy. That is, the analysis is in favor of a general military operation, rather than a limited operation, which is strategically incorrect based on the conclusion that Iraq's limited military operation failed. What really makes the war analysis not convincing is the conclusion that a limited war failed and a general war might also have failed if Iraq pursued it. Added to that, the Iranian strategy was not discussed. The analysis also gives contradicting concepts about the reason behind the failure of Iraq's strategy.In one paragraph the reason is said to be Iraq was trying to "bite off more than it could chew", and in another paragraph the failure of Iraq's strategy was because Iraq "assigned to its military forces tasks which were too limited".

In analyzing any offensive, the author criticized the army that failed to achieve its goals and the army that succeeded by saying it could have achieved more. This type of analysis is the theme of the strategic analysis in the book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Too biased for the series
The essential histories series is supposed to provide brief, readable accounts of major wars.The inherent problem with this idea is that often times the wars being discussed are much too complex to be covered in substantially less than 100 pages.That doesn't mean the series is without value, but that it should only be used as a first step towards understanding a subject, not the only step.The biggest drawback in this particular installment is that the lack of background info really robs the reader of valuable context.Even though the amount of space devoted to the Iran-Iraq war in one of the general Iraqi history books like Tripp's or Marr's is considerably less, the coverage is ultimately better because of the back story of the 70s that created many of the necessary conditions for the war.Beyond that however, Karsh's book provides a limited and somewhat helpful overview of the military and political aspects that influenced the war.

Karsh's book on the Iran-Iraq war not only suffers from only skimming the surface of a complex subject, but there is also a fairly obvious pro-Iraqi bias.If someone had absolutely no background in Middle Eastern history, they would come away with the impression that Iraq was completely blameless, when in fact Iraq initially began the war.When compared with the accounts of the war in other works on Iraqi and Iranian history, Karsh's version stands alone in its willingness to absolve Iraq of any wrongdoing.Considering that the series is supposed to provide an introduction to the conflict, this type of bias is really misplaced.The editors should have taken a serious pass at Karsh's finished version or had someone else write this particular installment.

4-0 out of 5 stars The Cliff Notes of military history
The "Essential Histories" series from Osprey could easily be compared to the Cliff Notes series.They'll give you a nice introduction to a topic you are not familiar with, but no real depth.Most volumns are under 100 pages; therefore, don't expect many "man in the trenches" stories.

This volumn is a nice introduction to a recent war, and presented a bit better than most in the series.

3-0 out of 5 stars Superficial
This is one of the few volumes to cover a sadly under-reported war. While it would be a good introduction to someone unfamiliar with the conflict, it is a bit shallow for those who already know a little. Karsh does a good job of analyzing the motives and thinking of both sides, without comment on the ethics of either. I found Dilip Hiro's book more informative. Even though Hiro is frankly trying to make a political point, there is a lot of hard data there if you are willing to sift it out.

The coverage of particular battles was sketchy, and the typical short format of Osprey precludes a lot of analysis and documentation. The Iran-Iraq war has yet to be described or analyzed by someone of the stature of David Glanz. Therefore, this book gets more stars than I would normally award, simply because there are so few other book worth reading on the Iran-Iraq war. ... Read more

16. Pictorial History of Iran: Ancient Persia
by Amini Sam
Paperback: 212 Pages (2006-11-14)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$16.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1425967221
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Beloved Reader, Pictorial History of IRAN, Ancient Persia is about one of the oldest nations and civilizations in the world. I hope the information provided in this book will give you better insight into Persian culture and history, which has survived through the centuries and has withstood the test of time.As a focal point of the crossroad between East and West, the Persian Empire had a tremendous relevance in the development of human culture. Persians dedicated their lives to the cultivation of ideas, cultural exchange, and human development.Like Iran's night sky, the ancient history of Iran is full of shining stars. Large cities in Elam, Hamadan, Pasargardae, and Persepolis were established. The union of Medes and Persians laid the foundation for the Achaemenian Empire, which organized, administered, and governed with justice and order the great Persian nation from the Jaxates river (Sir Darya) to Nile, Asia Minor to Persian Gulf, and east as far as the Hindu river. This great nation enjoyed prosperity, vast communication systems, practice of humanitarian equality, and a well-balanced system of government.Cyrus the Great issued the first declaration of Human Rights, after capturing the Babylonian Empire and freeing the Jews held in captivity there and allowing them to return to Jerusalem.The Persian Empire reached one of its pinnacles during the Mesopotamia era. With the profound influence of Zoroastrian convictions, with "pure thought," "good deeds" and "noble words," the Persian Empire flourished throughout Asia Minork Lydia, all the way to Greece. Up to this point in history, there were no significant scientific and cultural achievements in Greece.Many inscriptions found in Persepolis prove that the Persian Empire was the key in cultivation and spread of civilization, as we know it today. The Persian civilization and the first declaration of human rights by Cyrus the Great has had a lasting impression on all the nations. This humanitarian concern has eventually become a universal principle.I hope human rights and the promotion of human development will prevail in the 21st century. ... Read more

17. Sino-Iranica: Chinese Contributions to the History of Civilization in Ancient Iran, with Special Reference to the History of Cultivated Plants and Products, Volume 15, issue 3
by Berthold Laufer
Paperback: 462 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$36.75 -- used & new: US$20.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1146356455
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This is an EXACT reproduction of a book published before 1923. This IS NOT an OCR'd book with strange characters, introduced typographical errors, and jumbled words.This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book. ... Read more

18. The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran
by Homa Katouzian
Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-09-28)
list price: US$30.00 -- used & new: US$18.63
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300169329
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In recent years, Iran has gained attention mostly for negative reasons—its authoritarian religious government, disputed nuclear program, and controversial role in the Middle East—but there is much more to the story of this ancient land than can be gleaned from the news. This authoritative and comprehensive history of Iran, written by Homa Katouzian, an acclaimed expert, covers the entire history of the area from the ancient Persian Empire to today’s Iranian state.


Writing from an Iranian rather than a European perspective, Katouzian integrates the significant cultural and literary history of Iran with its political and social history. Some of the greatest poets of human history wrote in Persian—among them Rumi, Omar Khayyam, and Saadi—and Katouzian discusses and occasionally quotes their work. In his thoughtful analysis of Iranian society, Katouzian argues that the absolute and arbitrary power traditionally enjoyed by Persian/Iranian rulers has resulted in an unstable society where fear and short-term thinking dominate. A magisterial history, this book also serves as an excellent background to the role of Iran in the contemporary world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars The most scholarly and easy to read book on the long histroy of Iran
I am no book critic.I have been reading and enjoying Dr. Katouzian's books for twenty years.This book brings together his vast and scholarly knowledge of 2500 years of Iranian history.No writer has achieved this.The narrative is very fluid and easy to read and understand, despite the sometimes complex subjects.I could not wait to finish it, so that I could start reading it again.

If you are an Iranian, then you owe it to yourself to read this book.If you have adult children, please encourage them to read it.If you have young children, save this book in a safe place, and let them read it when they grow up.

Finally, if you are interested in modern Iran, his two books about Musaddiq and the Emergence of the Pahlavis are unsurpassed for their quality of research and writing.You can find these and his other works on Amazon.

1-0 out of 5 stars Farliman
Readers familiar with the geography of Iran wil be disappointed that a full page map of Iran erroneously designates the Persian Gulf as simply "The Gulf". In this connection, one would expect the Arabian Sea next door would be called "The Sea", but it is not!
Introductory sections are over-simplified, i.e., "Farsi is the Persian word for Persian just as Deutsch is the 'German' word for "German" and Francais for 'French'." [sic]
The author then makes the assertion that "Unlike Persian, Farsi has no cultural or historical connotation, ...". Unfortunately the author fails to mention that Farsi is the Arabization of "Parsi" since Arabs substitute "F" for the letter "P".
Because of constant repetition of doubtful conclusionary remarks, reading this book is somewhat uninspiring.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Persians...
This is an excellent history of Persia / Iran; author not only gives us an accurate chronological description of events but also and most importantly delivers an accurate , intelligent and hard hitting analyses of politicaland socialculture of Iranian state and society from its inception to the present ; contrary to most historians author convincingly argues that Iran was never a feudal society ; Iran had either a strong arbitrary ruler who imposed order and territorial integrity with brute force or there existed chaos and disorder ; there never was a power sharing with an aristocratic or other ruling class ;

5-0 out of 5 stars The Perplexity of the Persian People
Katouzian opens up a mysterious landscape that has been far too long on the periphery of my radar screen. It is a land which has been brutalized by Roman, Mongol, and Arab invaders and shahs who saw intrigue under every stone. Nevertheless it provided sufficiently fertile ground for a wealth of poets, mathematicians, and theologians who helped lay the groundwork for the modern world.

Not until the early twentieth century did liberal constitutional government begin to take root, albeit weakly in a factional tribal society where strong men for centuries ruthlessly seized power and ruled arbitrarily.In the the midst of this transformation, the West came to be emulated for its assumed cultural superiority: women achieved greater equality, ancient meandering thoroughfares were replaced by linear streets conforming to European standards, and as a result many majestic buildings and traditions embodying Persia's glorious past were plowed under.

In the hyperbole of current affairs much is lost by merely focusing on Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's unqualified antagonisms toward the West without first looking to the causality that contributed to that invectiveness. Let us suppose, for example, 'the Brits' were behind a coup d'etat which overthrew President Obama and saw to it that a new leader, one who was more malleable to Anglo business concerns, was inserted in his place. With the most dedicated scholarship Katouzian lays bare the short-term opportunism of the CIA, which, in support of a British oil monopoly's ledger sheet, overthrew Iran's populist Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, and, in the process, revealed a certain emptiness and hypocrisy in America's call for democratic values; and in reaction the secular state and liberal values evaporated in favor of an ephemeral Islamic political panacea. ... Read more

19. From Persian Empire to Islamic Iran: A History of Nationalism in the Middle East
by Parviz S. Towfighi
Hardcover: 276 Pages (2009-06)
list price: US$109.95 -- used & new: US$99.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0773447792
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This book examines the relationship between Iranian nationalism and Islam, especially Shi'ism as the country's adopted official religion by the founder of the Safavid Dynasty in 1501 A.D. Although the study covers fourteen centuries of Iranian history, the greatest emphasis is placed on the last two where secular Western reformist ideas overlap with progressive religious thinking. The study covers selected periods in fourteen centuries of Iranian history including the efforts by the Pahlavis to establish a national identity for Iranians based on the ancient imperial history of Iran and by negating the country's Islamic connection. The research takes a fresh look at the basic principles as well as the style of governance by Mossadeq, his secular nationalism, his strong belief in democratic ideals, his temporary alliance with religious elements, and ultimate failure of his efforts. The work follows the paths of development of ideas and movements, secular and religious, leading to the Islamic revolution and the rise of Khomeini as the undisputed leader of the movement.It also covers the development of the concept of Islamic government, its historical and religious precedents, its structure, and the institutional apparatus that keeps the system together. ... Read more

20. Mesopotamia, Iran and Arabia from the Seleucids to the Sasanians (Variorum Collected Studies Series)
by D. T. Potts
Hardcover: 372 Pages (2010-10-01)
list price: US$144.95 -- used & new: US$144.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1409405354
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
This volume focuses on the period between the conquest of the Achaemenid empire by Alexander the Great and the advent of Islam, dominated in the central regions of the Near East by the Seleucid, the Parthian and the finally the Sasanian dynasties. Historiographically speaking, these periods have traditionally been dealt with by specialists in Classical archaeology, ancient history and late Antiquity. Much of the sense in which these periods represented a continuation of ancient Near Eastern traditions has thereby been lost. Many specialists in the 'late' periods have little awareness of scholarship on the very same regions and issues as dealt with by generations of scholars for the pre-Hellenistic Near East, while many students of the earlier periods fail to see that the processes and problems specific to the post-Hellenistic, pre-Islamic period in the region form part and parcel of the greater story of the ancient Near East through time.Brought together here are studies on the historical geography of Kerman and Khuzestan in the Seleucid period; the Greek and Parthian presence in Babylonia; popular religion and burial practice in Iran, Mesopotamia, and Arabia and the extent to which these do or do not reflect Zoroastrian orthodoxy; Roman, Parthian, Characene and Sasanian political influence, and its archaeological and iconographic manifestation, in the Arabian peninsula; and, Nestorian Christianity in eastern Arabia. These studies demonstrate how extraordinarily rich a field exists for the further investigation of Mesopotamia, Iran and Arabia in the later pre-Islamic era. ... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats