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: Penguin Books
ISBN: 0141047410
Release Date: 2009
Genre: Iran

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 Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay

Author: Hooman Majd
Publisher: Anchor Books
ISBN: 9780307946690
Release Date: 2014
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Offering rare and intimate insight into a country and its people, this riveting book follows an Iranian-American writer, along with his young family, on a year-long sojourn in Tehran during which U.S.-Iran relations are at a 30-year low.

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).

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.

Guardians of the Revolution

Author: Ray Takeyh
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199754106
Release Date: 2011-05-05
Genre: History

For over a quarter century, Iran has been one of America's chief nemeses. Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979, the relationship between the two nations has been antagonistic: revolutionary guards chanting against the Great Satan, Bush fulminating against the Axis of Evil, Iranian support for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S. for the world's ills. The unending war of words suggests an intractable divide between Iran and the West, one that may very well lead to a shooting war in the near future. But as Ray Takeyh shows in this accessible and authoritative history of Iran's relations with the world since the revolution, behind the famous personalities and extremist slogans is a nation that is far more pragmatic--and complex--than many in the West have been led to believe. Takeyh explodes many of our simplistic myths of Iran as an intransigently Islamist foe of the West. Tracing the course of Iranian policy since the 1979 revolution, Takeyh identifies four distinct periods: the revolutionary era of the 1980s, the tempered gradualism following the death of Khomeini and the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1989, the "reformist" period from 1997-2005 under President Khatami, and the shift toward confrontation and radicalism since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005. Takeyh shows that three powerful forces--Islamism, pragmatism, and great power pretensions--have competed in each of these periods, and that Iran's often paradoxical policies are in reality a series of compromises between the hardliners and the moderates, often with wild oscillations between pragmatism and ideological dogmatism. The U.S.'s task, Takeyh argues, is to find strategies that address Iran's objectionable behavior without demonizing this key player in an increasingly vital and volatile region. With its clear-sighted grasp of both nuance and historical sweep, Guardians of the Revolution will stand as the standard work on this controversial--and central--actor in world politics for years to come.

Lipstick Jihad

Author: Azadeh Moaveni
Publisher: PublicAffairs
ISBN: 1586481932
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A young Iranian-American journalist returns to Tehran and discovers not only the oppressive and decadent life of her Iranian counterparts who have grown up since the revolution, but the pain of searching for a homeland that may not exist.

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.

Shah of Shahs

Author: Ryszard Kapuscinski
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780804153508
Release Date: 2014-08-06
Genre: History

In Shah of Shahs Kapuscinski brings a mythographer's perspective and a novelist's virtuosity to bear on the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, one of the most infamous of the United States' client-dictators, who resolved to transform his country into "a second America in a generation," only to be toppled virtually overnight. From his vantage point at the break-up of the old regime, Kapuscinski gives us a compelling history of conspiracy, repression, fanatacism, and revolution.Translated from the Polish by William R. Brand and Katarzyna Mroczkowska-Brand.

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.

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.

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.

City of Lies

Author: Ramita Navai
Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson
ISBN: 9780297869504
Release Date: 2014-05-08
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Lying in Tehran is about survival. Welcome to Tehran, a city where survival depends on a network of subterfuge. Here is a place where mullahs visit prostitutes, drug kingpins run crystal meth kitchens, surgeons restore girls' virginity and homemade porn is sold in the sprawling bazaars; a place where ordinary people are forced to lead extraordinary lives. Based on extensive interviews, CITY OF LIES chronicles the lives of eight men and women drawn from across the spectrum of Iranian society and reveals what it is to live, love and survive in one of the world's most repressive regimes.

Pakistan s Nuclear Bomb

Author: Hassan Abbas
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 0190901578
Release Date: 2018-03
Genre: Political Science

This book provides a comprehensive account of the mysterious story of Pakistan's attempt to develop nuclear weapons in the face of severe odds. Hassan Abbas profiles the politicians and scientists involved, and the role of China and Saudi Arabia in supporting Pakistan's nuclear infrastructure. Abbas also unravels the motivations behind the Pakistani nuclear physicist Dr A.Q. Khan's involvement in nuclear proliferation in Iran, Libya and North Korea, drawing on extensive interviews. He argues that the origins and evolution of the Khan network were tied to the domestic and international political motivations underlying Pakistan's nuclear weapons project, and that project's organization, oversight and management. The ties between the making of the Pakistani bomb and the proliferation that then ensued have not yet been fully illuminated or understood, and this book's disclosures have important lessons. The Khan proliferation breach remains of vital importance for understanding how to stop such transfers of sensitive technology in future. Finally, the book examines the prospects for nuclear safety in Pakistan, considering both Pakistan's nuclear control infrastructure and the threat posed by the Taliban and other extremist groups to the country's nuclear assets.