A History of Iran

A History of Iran

Empire of the Mind

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
Explores the influence of Iran's history, both religious and political, on the Iranian national identity and discusses the role of literary, religious, intellectual, and cultural movements of the past on Iranian civilization today.

Perseus Publishing
A comprehensive history of Iran, from the glories of the Persian Empire to the Islamic Republic’s newly powerful-and much vilified-role in the Middle East

Iran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran’s religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi’a Muslim clerics in the world, and yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life-wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but make up nearly 60 percent of the university student population. In A History of Iran, a leading expert on Iran chronicles the rich history of this complex nation from the Achaemenid Empire of sixth century B.C. to the present-day Islamic Republic. In accessible prose, Michael Axworthy explains the military, political, religious, and cultural forces that have shaped one of the oldest continuing civilizations in the world. Concluding with an assessment of the immense changes the nation has undergone since the revolution in 1979, A History of Iran offers general readers an essential point of entry into a troubled region.

Book News
Axworthy (Arab and Islamic studies, U. of Exeter) begins by pointing out that Persia--with its roses, flirtatious women, carpets, poetry and music--and Iran-- with its frowning mullahs, oil, veiled woman, chanting mobs--are the same place filtered through different Western prejudices. The history itself starts with Zoroaster and the Achaemids, and climbs through political, military, religious, economic, and social matters to the present conflict with the US administration. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York : Basic Books, c2008
ISBN: 9780465008889
Branch Call Number: 955 AXW
Characteristics: xvii, 341 p. :,maps ;,25 cm.
Alternative Title: Iran


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Jan 25, 2013

There are much better books on the history of Iran, by both historians and journalists. I found Axworthy's book very disappointing. If you read only one book on Iran, don't let it be this one.

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