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

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9780452275638: The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation

WITH A NEW AFTERWORD BY THE AUTHOR

Throughout its long and complex 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.

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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.

About the Author:

Sandra Mackey is a highly respected expert on Middle Eastern culture and politics who has reported for many periodicals, and has appeared on Nightline, ABC News with Peter Jennings, and NPR. She also served as a commentator for CNN on the Gulf War. She is the author of three previous books, including The Saudis and Passion and Politics: The Turbulent World of the Arabs. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Iranians, eminent Middle East expert Sandra Mackey brings us invaluable understanding of a complex, contradictory, and sometimes volatile people. Beginning with the ancient Persian empires that ruled from India to Greece and later humbled mighty Rome, and tracking the waves of invasions that culminated in the triumph of the Arabs under the banner of Islam, she delineates the opposing poles of identity and power that have vied for the Iranian state and the Iranian soul. On the one hand, there is the Persian concept of kingship, in which the nation is guided toward its destiny by a single strong ruler. On the other, there is the Islamic concept of a community of believers in which the faith of Muhammad reigns supreme over every facet of life. This dramatic conflict has played itself out over centuries, intensifying in the twentieth century when Iranians also confronted the issue of modernization in the mode of the West. In the last decades, the Iranians intertwined destinies of Persia and Islam resulted in the violent shift of leadership and policy from the imperious King of Kings, Muhammad Reza Shah, to the zealous Ayatollah Khomeini. Without a current icon of culture and authority, the Iranians now struggle with their present and search for their future in the decaying Iranian Revolution. The author s personal knowledge of Iran gives her book a superbly human dimension. Sandra Mackey has more unrestricted movement within the Iranian Islamic Republic than any other American journalist. Her eyewitness account gives the reader a uniquely authentic present-day picture of Iran and the Iranians from the cities to the countryside and from humble mosques to the chaotic politicalarena governed by the clerics of Shia Islam, as pressures build for a new definition of revolutionary Iran that may well shake the region and the world. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780452275638

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. In The Iranians, eminent Middle East expert Sandra Mackey brings us invaluable understanding of a complex, contradictory, and sometimes volatile people. Beginning with the ancient Persian empires that ruled from India to Greece and later humbled mighty Rome, and tracking the waves of invasions that culminated in the triumph of the Arabs under the banner of Islam, she delineates the opposing poles of identity and power that have vied for the Iranian state and the Iranian soul. On the one hand, there is the Persian concept of kingship, in which the nation is guided toward its destiny by a single strong ruler. On the other, there is the Islamic concept of a community of believers in which the faith of Muhammad reigns supreme over every facet of life. This dramatic conflict has played itself out over centuries, intensifying in the twentieth century when Iranians also confronted the issue of modernization in the mode of the West. In the last decades, the Iranians intertwined destinies of Persia and Islam resulted in the violent shift of leadership and policy from the imperious King of Kings, Muhammad Reza Shah, to the zealous Ayatollah Khomeini. Without a current icon of culture and authority, the Iranians now struggle with their present and search for their future in the decaying Iranian Revolution. The author s personal knowledge of Iran gives her book a superbly human dimension. Sandra Mackey has more unrestricted movement within the Iranian Islamic Republic than any other American journalist. Her eyewitness account gives the reader a uniquely authentic present-day picture of Iran and the Iranians from the cities to the countryside and from humble mosques to the chaotic politicalarena governed by the clerics of Shia Islam, as pressures build for a new definition of revolutionary Iran that may well shake the region and the world. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780452275638

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. In The Iranians, eminent Middle East expert Sandra Mackey brings us invaluable understanding of a complex, contradictory, and sometimes volatile people. Beginning with the ancient Persian empires that ruled from India to Greece and later humbled mighty Rome, and tracking the waves of invasions that culminated in the triumph of the Arabs under the banner of Islam, she delineates the opposing poles of identity and power that have vied for the Iranian state and the Iranian soul. On the one hand, there is the Persian concept of kingship, in which the nation is guided toward its destiny by a single strong ruler. On the other, there is the Islamic concept of a community of believers in which the faith of Muhammad reigns supreme over every facet of life. This dramatic conflict has played itself out over centuries, intensifying in the twentieth century when Iranians also confronted the issue of modernization in the mode of the West. In the last decades, the Iranians intertwined destinies of Persia and Islam resulted in the violent shift of leadership and policy from the imperious King of Kings, Muhammad Reza Shah, to the zealous Ayatollah Khomeini. Without a current icon of culture and authority, the Iranians now struggle with their present and search for their future in the decaying Iranian Revolution. The author s personal knowledge of Iran gives her book a superbly human dimension. Sandra Mackey has more unrestricted movement within the Iranian Islamic Republic than any other American journalist. Her eyewitness account gives the reader a uniquely authentic present-day picture of Iran and the Iranians from the cities to the countryside and from humble mosques to the chaotic politicalarena governed by the clerics of Shia Islam, as pressures build for a new definition of revolutionary Iran that may well shake the region and the world. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780452275638

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