Iran has rarely been out of the headlines. Yet media interest and extensive coverage has tended to hinder rather than help our understanding of Iran as an idea, an identity, and a people, leading to a superficial understanding of what is a complex and nuanced political culture and civilization.
This Very Short Introduction presents a radical reinterpretation of Iranian history and politics, placing the Islamic Revolution in the context of a century of political change and social transformation. By considering the various factors that have contributed towards the construction of the idea of Iran and the complex identity of Iranians themselves, Ali Ansari steers a clear path towards a more realistic understanding for us all.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This work is a bit inaccurate in its description of recent (past 200 years) Iranian political aspirations. The role of political interference is underplayed in order to leave all at the doorstep of responsibility for one's own determination. However, Iran actually represents one of those extreme cases of interference wherein deceptive practices sabotaged future of multiple generations. This must be firmly researched and understood for anyone to truly know the present character of Iran and Iranians. Also, the line about khatami's allowance for press "freedom" having not been witnessed since 1906 is an appallingly false statement. Press was fully monitored during his tenure and many punished if deviated from what was carefully structured as a seemingly open press.
Lack of atimeline made it very difficult to follow. Recent history guided over and zero description of current political structure? It is a total failure.
Print too small. Suggest you buy a history of Iran before reading this book.
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