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Thread: Iran Reading List

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    Iran Reading List

    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    There is one called Shia revival, or something like that ... and I believe Admiral Fallon was reading that during his term in PACCOM. I have not read it, but he did. So it must be good.
    If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery of gunpowder with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind. - Edward Gibbon

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    There is one called Shia revival, or something like that ... and I believe Admiral Fallon was reading that during his term in PACCOM. I have not read it, but he did. So it must be good.
    This one?

    Amazon.com: shia revival
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    Yes, that is the one ...
    If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery of gunpowder with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind. - Edward Gibbon

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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    There is one called Shia revival, or something like that ... and I believe Admiral Fallon was reading that during his term in PACCOM. I have not read it, but he did. So it must be good.
    Excellent suggestion. Ordered both books today from amazon. A new one is yet to be published. Put it on special order.

    I have a list of what I consider good reading in this topic of the war, Jihad, Iraq, Iran.

    All books by Walid Phares, "The war of Ideas" , "Future Jihad"
    Iran, The coming Crisis by Mark Hitchcock
    Confronting Iran by Ali M. Ansari
    Countdown to Crisis by Kenneth R. Timmerman
    The new Iraq by Joseph Braude.
    and others

    In the mix of these I personally find at this time enjoying the writing of Stephen Hawking helps me keep my summed up so-called theories in prospective.

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    Banned Alamgir's Avatar
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    What areas of Iran are you interested in learning about? If its modern Iranian history then i suggest you start with at least the Qajars or the Pahlavis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamgir View Post
    What areas of Iran are you interested in learning about? If its modern Iranian history then i suggest you start with at least the Qajars or the Pahlavis.
    Alamgir,
    I'm looking at modern history to learn more about the seeming dichotomy of the regime and the people. Thanks for the suggestion.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Banned Alamgir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shek View Post
    Alamgir,
    I'm looking at modern history to learn more about the seeming dichotomy of the regime and the people. Thanks for the suggestion.
    Unfortunately i cant recommend any particular books however you might want to look a bit into the later stages of Qajar rule as a starting point for modern Iranian history. This was the period during which the concept of Iranian nationalism in a political sense began to develop. From the late Qajar period onwards Iran began to break with its ancient/traditional political culture and began to develop some sort of sense of itself as a 'nation state'. In particular the erosion of an autocracy. It was also during this period that anti-foreign sentiments began to develop among urban and commercial groups. There was much Russian and British interference in Iran during that time and many considered the Qajar's as "selling out" Iran's sovereignty to foreigners. It was under the Qaja's that modern Iran's territorial boundaries (as they exist today) took shape and exposure to new political thinking occurred. You may find reading a bit about Iran's constitutional revolution in the early 20th century worthwhile for more on this. You can see from this period the beginnings of anti-foreign sentiments among politically active Iranians that you could argue are linked with such feelings all the way upto the revolution and beyond (being added to of course further by the American relationship with the Pahlavis).

    In any case i dont think just reading about post-Islamic revolution Iran will give you a full insight into understanding Iranian political culture and its attitudes towards the Western world if that is what you are looking for. There may be alot of discontent with the Islamic regime from within Iran but i think if you study some earlier history you will realize that Iranians will ultimately reject any foreign attempt to change Iran's government, despite whatever they may think of the present government and will probably harden behind it.

    Id discuss with you more but im probably much like you in that i like to read first and debate later. And i also have alot to read on for myself before i can enter any meaningful debate on this topic. Whatever i know is the basics and not having lived in Iran myself i choose to refrain from 'talking on behalf' of those that live there and what they think of the regime.

    Well, happy reading.

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    Banned Alamgir's Avatar
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    Any thoughts on the books you've read on Iran so far? Im half-way through Lipstick Jihad. Not my usual type of book but i thought it was time to take a small brake from reading history all the time. Some other books on the subject you're looking at that might interest you are:

    Amazon.com: The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran: Books: Roy Mottahedeh
    Amazon.com: Iran Awakening: One Woman's Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country: Books: Shirin Ebadi,Azadeh Moaveni

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    Staff Emeritus Lunatock's Avatar
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    Reading Lolita in Tehran = excellent book

    You may also care to pick up a copy of Journey From The Land Of No, by Roya Hakakian.

    Her book is about growing up as an Iranian Jew before, during, and after the Islamic Revolution.

    Possible spoiler:

    I'm sure you'll especially love the part where Roya and a few other Jewish Iranian students were segregated into thier own school, and the Mullah approved teacher tried to convert them to Islam with a convincing speech about the chador.

    End spoiler.

    It was funny reading about it...though before that, it was best repeated by Roya herself at a book lecture.

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    Padishah Shahanshah Senior Contributor xerxes's Avatar
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    An Iranian is an Iranian, Jewish or not.
    If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery of gunpowder with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind. - Edward Gibbon

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    Staff Emeritus Lunatock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xerxes View Post
    An Iranian is an Iranian, Jewish or not.
    I do know it was the Iranian Jewish Community who were at the forefront of disaproval over Mahmmoud Ahmedinejad's claim that the holocaust was a hoax.

    And Roya herself, also a journalist, was barred from visiting Iran with some other journo's working with CBS on the grounds that she is a "Zionist spy".

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    Patron indus creed's Avatar
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    Back when TIME was a more readable magazine.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Time_Cover.jpg

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    Banned Alamgir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indus creed View Post
    Back when TIME was a more readable magazine.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...Time_Cover.jpg
    The link isnt working but speaking of Dr Mossadegh anyone who wants to get an understanding of contemporary Iran and where anti-American passions began to develop among Iranians should read the book 'All the Shah's Men'. Its a brilliant book, well written, easy to read and very informative.

    Amazon.com: All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror: Stephen Kinzer: Books

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamgir View Post
    The link isnt working but speaking of Dr Mossadegh anyone who wants to get an understanding of contemporary Iran and where anti-American passions began to develop among Iranians should read the book 'All the Shah's Men'. Its a brilliant book, well written, easy to read and very informative.

    Amazon.com: All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror: Stephen Kinzer: Books
    I second this.

    It includes a lot of background information, a good historical overview of Iran for 100 years or so before the '53 coup. Lots of background on British and Russian influence as part of the Great Game. Lots of stuff on oil and other industries, how they started, who ran them, who profited from them. Motivations of various players, individuals and states, inside and outside Iran.

    A subtitle for this book could be: Why Iran hates the West, especially the US
    Smells like napalm, tastes like chicken!

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