The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780385528429
Release Date: 2008-09-23
Genre: Social Science

Including a new preface that discusses the Iranian mood during and after the June 2009 presidential election and subsequent protests, this is an intimate look at a paradoxical country from a uniquely qualified journalist. The grandson of an eminent ayatollah and the son of an Iranian diplomat, Hooman Majd offers perspective on Iran's complex and misunderstood culture through an insightful tour of Iranian culture, introducing fascinating characters from all walks of life, including zealous government officials, tough female cab drivers, and open-minded, reformist ayatollahs. It's an Iran that will surprise readers and challenge Western stereotypes. A Los Angeles Times and Economist Best Book of the Year With a New Preface

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141978161
Release Date: 2013-10-31
Genre: Travel

Hooman Majd, acclaimed journalist and New York-residing grandson of an Ayatollah, has a unique perspective on his Iranian homeland. In this vivid, warm and humorous insider's account, he opens our eyes to an Iran that few people see, meeting opium-smoking clerics, women cab drivers and sartorially challenged presidential officials, among others. Revealing a country where both t-shirt wearing teenagers and religious martyrs express pride in their Persian origins, that is deeply religious yet highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet reformist, this is the one book you should read to understand Iran and Iranians today.

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: Random House LLC
ISBN: 9780385523349
Release Date: 2008
Genre: History

The son of an Iranian diplomat and grandson of an ayatollah who grew up in exile offers an insightful study of the economic, political, and social forces that underly the vast paradoxes in Iranian character, examining Iran as a Muslim, Shiite, and Persian country and sharing the real-life people and diverse voices behind the modern-day nation. 50,000 first printing.

The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 9780385535335
Release Date: 2013-11-05
Genre: Political Science

With U.S.–Iran relations at a thirty-year low, Iranian-American writer Hooman Majd dared to take his young family on a year-long sojourn in Tehran. The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay traces their domestic adventures and closely tracks the political drama of a terrible year for Iran's government. It was an annus horribilis for Iran's Supreme Leader. The Green Movement had been crushed, but the regime was on edge, anxious lest democratic protests resurge. International sanctions were dragging down the economy while talk of war with the West grew. Hooman Majd was there for all of it. A new father at age fifty, he decided to take his blonde, blue-eyed Midwestern yoga instructor wife Karri and his adorable, only-eats-organic infant son Khash from their hip Brooklyn neighborhood to spend a year in the land of his birth. It was to be a year of discovery for Majd, too, who had only lived in Iran as a child. The book opens ominously as Majd is stopped at the airport by intelligence officers who show him a four-inch thick security file about his books and journalism and warn him not to write about Iran during his stay. Majd brushes it off—but doesn't tell Karri—and the family soon settles in to the rituals of middle class life in Tehran: finding an apartment (which requires many thousands of dollars, all of which, bafflingly, is returned to you when you leave), a secure internet connection (one that persuades the local censors you are in New York) and a bootlegger (self-explanatory). Karri masters the head scarf, but not before being stopped for mal-veiling, twice. They endure fasting at Ramadan and keep up with Khash in a country weirdly obsessed with children. All the while, Majd fields calls from security officers and he and Karri eye the headlines—the arrest of an American "spy," the British embassy riots, the Arab Spring—and wonder if they are pushing their luck. The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay is a sparkling account of life under a quixotic authoritarian regime that offers rare and intimate insight into a country and its people, as well as a personal story of exile and a search for the meaning of home.

The Ayatollahs Democracy An Iranian Challenge

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393080391
Release Date: 2011-09-12
Genre: Political Science

"One of America's most astute revealers of Iranian culture and identity."-Reza Aslan, The Atlantic Hailed as one of the year's best foreign policy books, Hooman Majd's latest offers dramatic perspective on a country with global ambitions, an elaborate political culture, and policies with enormous implications for world peace. Drawing on privileged access to the Iranian power elite, Majd "gives a harrowing description of the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections in Iran" (Haleh Esfandiari). This "nimble take on Iran's fraught political landscape" (Kirkus Reviews) "sounds a dire warning to those in the West who want a democratic Iran. . . . Let us hope the President is listening" (Reza Aslan, The Atlantic).

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ The Paradox of Modern Iran

Author: Ahban Azer
Publisher:
ISBN:
Release Date: 2004-12-15
Genre:

“Perhaps the best book yet written on the contradictions of contemporary Iran.... It captures like no book in recent memory the ethos of the country, in elegant and precise prose.” —Los Angeles Times “Illuminating.... Captivating.... A discerning guide to a complex country.” —Christian Science Monitor “Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the paradox that is Iran (as well as America) in the post-Bush world.” —GQ “In this delightful book, Hooman Majd, a gifted storyteller, takes us on a tour of his own private Persia, which is also the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The results are illuminating, humorous, sobering, and ultimately reassuring.” —Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad “Hooman Majd is a stylish and engaging guide through the by-ways of Iranian life. Leading us from seminary to opium den to the presidential compound, his wry sense of humor makes this book a pleasure to read.” —Gary Sick, Ph.D., senior research scholar at Columbia University and member of the National Security Council staff under presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan “A witty, timely perspective on the nation posing the greatest challenge to our next President. Travel writing often makes for easy reading at the expense of relevant information, which gets lost in the details. Not so with* *The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.” —Bill White, mayor of Houston and U.S. secretary of energy under President Clinton From the Trade Paperback edition. From Publishers Weekly Starred Review. In this critical but affectionate portrait of Iranian politics and culture, Majd, the Western-educated grandson of an ayatollah, delves into the very core of Iranian society, closely examining social mores and Farsi phrases to identify the Persian sensibility, which, Majd determines, cherishes privacy, praise and poetry. Nothing is too small or too sweeping for Majd to consider, and although he announces his allegiance to the former president Khatami, he remains scrupulously even-handed in assessing his successor Ahmadinejad, shedding light on the Iranian president's obsession with the Holocaust and penchant for windbreakers and why the two are (surprisingly) intertwined. The author's brisk, conversational prose is appealing; his book reads as if he is chatting with a smart friend, while strolling around Tehran, engaged in ta'arouf (an exaggerated form of self-deprecation key to understanding Persian society). Although Majd seems to gloss too quickly over realities that don't engage his interest—women's voices are only intermittently included—this failing scarcely mars this remarkable ride through what is often uncharted territory. (Oct.) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Review “Perhaps the best book yet written on the contradictions of contemporary Iran.... It captures like no book in recent memory the ethos of the country, in elegant and precise prose.” —Los Angeles Times “Illuminating.... Captivating.... A discerning guide to a complex country.” —Christian Science Monitor “Essential reading for anyone wanting to understand the paradox that is Iran (as well as America) in the post-Bush world.” —GQ “In this delightful book, Hooman Majd, a gifted storyteller, takes us on a tour of his own private Persia, which is also the Iran of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The results are illuminating, humorous, sobering, and ultimately reassuring.” —Jon Lee Anderson, author of The Fall of Baghdad “Hooman Majd is a stylish and engaging guide through the by-ways of Iranian life. Leading us from seminary to opium den to the presidential compound, his wry sense of humor makes this book a pleasure to read.” —Gary Sick, Ph.D., senior research scholar at Columbia University and member of the National Security Council staff under presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan “A witty, timely perspective on the nation posing the greatest challenge to our next President. Travel writing often makes for easy reading at the expense of relevant information, which gets lost in the details. Not so with* *The Ayatollah Begs to Differ.” —Bill White, mayor of Houston and U.S. secretary of energy under President Clinton From the Trade Paperback edition.

Persian Mirrors

Author: Elaine Sciolino
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743217799
Release Date: 2001-09-25
Genre: History

The New York Times expert on Iran explores the beauty and contradiction underlying this enigmatic country.

Mirrors of the Unseen

Author: Jason Elliot
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9781466837829
Release Date: 2007-10-02
Genre: Travel

In our current climate of war and suspicion, Iran is depicted as the "next" rogue nation that America and the world must "deal with." But the rhetoric about nuclear weapons and jihad obscures the real Iran: an ancient nation and culture, both sophisticated and isolated, which still exists clandestinely in major cities as well as the country's remote mountains and deserts. Jason Elliot has spent the last four years traveling in Iran, and in this remarkable book he reveals the many sides of the culture, art, architecture, and people that Westerners cannot see or conveniently ignore. Part close reading of symbols and images, part history, and part intimate interviews with Iranians of many different kinds—from wealthy aristocrats at forbidden parties to tribal horsemen in the most remote mountain villages, who have never seen a Westerner—Mirrors of the Unseen is a beautiful and thought-provoking book by one of the world's most acclaimed adventurers and authors.

Lipstick Jihad

Author: Azadeh Moaveni
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 9781586485498
Release Date: 2007-03-31
Genre: History

As far back as she can remember, Azadeh Moaveni has felt at odds with her tangled identity as an Iranian-American. In suburban America, Azadeh lived in two worlds. At home, she was the daughter of the Iranian exile community, serving tea, clinging to tradition, and dreaming of Tehran. Outside, she was a California girl who practiced yoga and listened to Madonna. For years, she ignored the tense standoff between her two cultures. But college magnified the clash between Iran and America, and after graduating, she moved to Iran as a journalist. This is the story of her search for identity, between two cultures cleaved apart by a violent history. It is also the story of Iran, a restive land lost in the twilight of its revolution. Moaveni's homecoming falls in the heady days of the country's reform movement, when young people demonstrated in the streets and shouted for the Islamic regime to end. In these tumultuous times, she struggles to build a life in a dark country, wholly unlike the luminous, saffron and turquoise-tinted Iran of her imagination. As she leads us through the drug-soaked, underground parties of Tehran, into the hedonistic lives of young people desperate for change, Moaveni paints a rare portrait of Iran's rebellious next generation. The landscape of her Tehran — ski slopes, fashion shows, malls and cafes — is populated by a cast of young people whose exuberance and despair brings the modern reality of Iran to vivid life.

Iranian Rappers and Persian Porn

Author: Jamie Maslin
Publisher: Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.
ISBN: 9781628731859
Release Date: 2009-10-13
Genre: Travel

Iran looms large in the psyche of modern America. For decades, it has been “the enemy,” its government taunting us and attacking our Western, secular lifestyle. That is largely the Iranian government, however, not the Iranian people. Here’s the proof. When Jamie Maslin decides to backpack the entire length of the Silk Road, he decides to travel first and plan later. Then, unexpectedly stranded in a country he’s only read about in newspapers, he decides to make the best of it—but wonders whether he’ll make it out alive. Maslin finds himself suddenly plunged into a subversive, contradictory world of Iranian subculture, where he is embraced by locals who are more than happy to show him the true Iran as they see it—the one where unmarried men and women mingle in Western clothes at secret parties, where alcohol (the possession of which is punishable by hand-amputation) is readily available on the black market, where Christian churches are national heritage sites, and where he discovers the real meaning of friendship, nationality, and hospitality. This is a hilarious, charming, and astonishing account of one Westerner’s life-altering rambles across Iran that will leave you wondering what else you don’t know about Iran and its people.

Understanding Iran

Author: William R. Polk
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 0230103235
Release Date: 2009-10-27
Genre: Political Science

William R. Polk provides an informative, readable history of a country which is moving quickly toward becoming the dominant power and culture of the Middle East. A former member of the State Department's Policy Planning Council, Polk describes a country and a history misunderstood by many in the West. While Iranians chafe under the yolk of their current leaders, they also have bitter memories of generations of British, Russian and American espionage, invasion, and dominance. There are important lessons to be learned from the past, and Polk teases them out of a long and rich history and shows that it is not just now, but for decades to come that an understanding of Iran will be essential to American safety and well-being.

The Soul of Iran A Nation s Struggle for Freedom

Author: Afshin Molavi
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393078756
Release Date: 2010-07-12
Genre: Political Science

The truths about Iran; quite different truths from versions put forward by Washington, Tehran, and the media. Iran thundered onto the world stage in 1979 with an Islamic revolution that shook the world. Today that revolution has gone astray, a popular democracy movement boldly challenges authority, and young Iranians are more interested in moving to America than in chanting "Death to America." Afshin Molavi, born in Iran and fluent in Persian, traveled widely across his homeland, exploring the legacy of the Iranian revolution and probing the soul of Iran, a land with nearly three millennia of often-glorious history. Like a master Persian carpet maker, Molavi weaves together threads of rich historical insight, political analysis, cultural observation, and the daily realities of life in the Islamic republic to produce a colorful, intricate, and mesmerizing narrative. Originally published in hardcover under the title Persian Pilgrimages, this paperback edition is revised, with a new introduction and epilogue.

Drinking Arak Off an Ayatollah s Beard

Author: Nicholas Jubber
Publisher: ReadHowYouWant.com
ISBN: 9781458759856
Release Date: 2010-10-08
Genre:

An engrossing blend of travel writing and history, Drinking Arak off an Ayatollah's Beard traces one man's adventure-filled journey through today's Iran, Afghanistan, and Central Asia, and describes his remarkable attempt to make sense of the present by delving into the past. Setting out to gain insight into the lives of Iranians and Afghans today, Nicholas Jubber is surprised to uncover the legacy of a vibrant pre-Islamic Persian culture that has endured even in times of the most fanatic religious fundamentalism. Everywhere-from underground dance parties to religious shrines to opium dens-he finds powerful and unbreakable connections to a time when both Iran and Afghanistan were part of the same mighty empire, when the flame of Persian culture lit up the world. Whether through his encounters with poets and cab drivers or run-ins with ''pleasure daughters'' and mujahideen, again and again Jubber is drawn back to the eleventh-century Persian epic, the Shahnameh (''Book of Kings''). The poem becomes not only his window into the region's past, but also his link to its tumultuous present, and through it Jubber gains access to an Iran and Afghanistan seldom revealed or depicted: inside-out worlds in which he has tea with a warlord, is taught how to walk like an Afghan, and even discovers, on a night full of bootleg alcohol and dancing, what it means to drink arak off an Ayatollah's beard.

All the Shah s Men

Author: Stephen Kinzer
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 9780470185490
Release Date: 2003
Genre: History

A new edition of the best-selling study of the Iran-U.S. conflict traces the events leading to the 1953 coup in Iran, noting the reasons behind the U.S.'s covert operations under the joint authority of Eisenhower and Churchill, the orchestrations of prime minister Mossadegh and CIA officer Kermit Roosevelt, the coup's ongoing consequences, and future conflict. Original.

All Joy and No Fun

Author: Jennifer Senior
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 9780062072269
Release Date: 2014-01-28
Genre: Social Science

Thousands of books have examined the effects of parents on their children. In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior now asks: what are the effects of children on their parents? In All Joy and No Fun, award-winning journalist Jennifer Senior tries to tackle this question, isolating and analyzing the many ways in which children reshape their parents' lives, whether it's their marriages, their jobs, their habits, their hobbies, their friendships, or their internal senses of self. She argues that changes in the last half century have radically altered the roles of today's mothers and fathers, making their mandates at once more complex and far less clear. Recruiting from a wide variety of sources—in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy, and anthropology—she dissects both the timeless strains of parenting and the ones that are brand new, and then brings her research to life in the homes of ordinary parents around the country. The result is an unforgettable series of family portraits, starting with parents of young children and progressing to parents of teens. Through lively and accessible storytelling, Senior follows these mothers and fathers as they wrestle with some of parenthood's deepest vexations—and luxuriate in some of its finest rewards. Meticulously researched yet imbued with emotional intelligence, All Joy and No Fun makes us reconsider some of our culture's most basic beliefs about parenthood, all while illuminating the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives. By focusing on parenthood, rather than parenting, the book is original and essential reading for mothers and fathers of today—and tomorrow.