Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran

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9780374182199: Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran
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Stealing across the border of Iran, a former spy for the CIA offers a portrait of contemporary Iran and a look inside the Iranian character, tracing particularly the country's growing disenchantment with Islamic dogma

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Edward Shirley served as an Iranian specialist in the CIA's Directorate of Operations. He has published articles in The Atlantic Monthly and Foreign Affairs. In order to protect himself and others, the author chose to have this book published under a pseudonym.

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Shirley says he left the employ of the CIA before sneaking into Iran in 1994, so this is, more accurately, an ex-spy's journey. Although his old bosses, whom Shirley regards as time-serving incompetents, occasionally enter the stage, the main actors are the half dozen Persian personalities Shirley encounters on his brief, high-tension trip. Inside a concealed compartment of a truck, Shirley smuggled himself across the Turkish-Iranian border and made his way to Tabriz and Tehran. He was driven and guided by Hosein, from Iranian Azerbaijan, and met Hosein's various friends and relatives. In between expressive observations on Persian customs, mannerisms, and attitudes toward himself as an American, Shirley posits apt meditations about Persian and Shiite history, which all combine into an unusually interesting travelogue. Exotica are part of the attraction, but the undertone of furtive movement and danger of exposure seals the reading deal. Well written besides, this a remarkable and rare glimpse into the opinions of ordinary Iranians about the U.S. and the theocracy they live under. Gilbert Taylor

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9780813335889: Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey Into Revolutionary Iran

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ISBN 10:  0813335884 ISBN 13:  9780813335889
Publisher: Westview Press, 1998
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