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.
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
It is a considerable challenge to sum up the essense of Iran, with its recorded history of more than 2,500 years, in only a little more than a hundred pages. But Ali Ansari does so effectively by focusing on the multi-layered identity of the Iranians. * David Blow, The Times Literary Supplement *
This book is written in a lively and accessible style. It is full of insights into modern Iran, the most important of which is the continuing impact of Iran's mythology and long history on the present. It should be required reading for anyone proposing to negotiate with Iranians, whether in politics or business. * Geopolitics and Security, Francis Robinson *
2: The West and Iran
3: Iran and Persia
4: Iran and Islam
5: Iran and the West