The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation

  • ISBN13: 9780452275638
  • Condition: New
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Book Review
The Iranians explores Iran in the context of its old and complex culture, for throughout its history Iran has struggled with two warring identities-one evolving from the values, social organization, and arts of ancient Persia, the other from Islam. By examining the relationship between these two identities, The Iranians explains how the revolution of 1979 came about, why the Islamic Republic has failed, and how Iran today is on the brink of chaos.

In this defining portrait of a troubled nation and the forces that shape it, Iranian history and religion become accessible to the nonspecialist. Combining impeccable scholarship with the human insight of firsthand observations, The Iranians provides vital understanding of this unique and pivotal nation.

• Plume edition will contain a new epilogue by Sandra Mackey, reflecting on the results of the spring 1997 Iranian elections.

• Hardcover edition received enormous press coverage and increased Mackey’s already prominent visibility.
• Highly readable and aimed at the nonspecialist. Amazon.com Review

The Iranians chronicles the history of the Iranian people, from the “glory days” of Persia to the overthrow of Mohammed Riza Shah and the rise of the Ayatollah Khomeini. Through many centuries, Islamic Iran fell repeatedly to invaders–Turks, Mongols, Afghans, Russians, and the British–only to spring back and reassert its cultural and spiritual autonomy while absorbing elements of other civilizations. But after the 1950s, rapid modernization disturbed every facet of Iranian life. Mackey shows how Iran’s pendulum swung from nationalism to monarchism to rigid Shia fundamentalism, while also offering harsh judgment of Western attitudes and policies toward Iran.

The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation