The Struggle for Iran

The Struggle for Iran

Book - 2007
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Random House, Inc.
When Christopher de Bellaigue first visited Iran in 1999, he found it irresistably alive: under the leadership of President Mohammad Khatami, Islamic revolutionary rule was loosening and the prospects for democratic pluralism seemed bright. But over the remaining six years of Khatami's presidency, de Bellaigue watched as the conservative religious establishment reasserted its power and the hopes of reform slowly died. The country seemed to turn its back on all that Khatami stood for when it elected an unsophisticated Islamist ideologue, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, to succeed him in 2005.

As the optimism of the reform movement was fading, international tensions over Iran's nuclear program were rising. George W. Bush included Iran in the "axis of evil," depicting it as a malign theocracy determined to acquire nuclear weapons and threaten Israel. Yet de Bellaigue's accounts of the nuclear negotiations make clear that the West's opposition to Iranian nuclear ambitions has helped both to empower those who oppose democratic reform and perhaps even to convince Iran it needs nuclear weapons for self-defense.

Beyond the high political drama, de Bellaigue, a long-term resident of Tehran and a fluent Persian speaker, gives a sense of the complexities of Iranian culture and society through striking portraits of Iranians going about their daily lives—reading the poetry of Rumi, looking at modern art, making films under the threat of censorship, trying to get by despite domestic turmoil and military threats. His keen analyses of Iran's politics and its people offer fascinating insights into a often misunderstood nation that poses some of the most challenging problems facing the world today.

Baker & Taylor
Provides an inside look at Iran during the last six years of Mohammad Khatami's presidency and political shake up that took place in the country following the election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Book News
Journalist de Bellaigue first visited Iran in 1999, a trip that resulted in his writing about the then vibrant democratic reform movement in the title essay of this collection. Having taken up residence in the capital city of Tehran, he continued publishing his observations about Iranian political and social life in The New York Review of Books and elsewhere for the next seven years. This volume collects 15 of those essays providing a window into Iranian life for an American audience. He addresses the ups and downs of the reform movement, the politics of nuclear energy, and issues of cultural censorship and Persian nationalism, seeking to dispel the Manichean picture of Iran frequently described by neoconservatives and others anxious for Iranian "regime change." Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: New York, NY : New York Review Books, 2007
ISBN: 1590172388 (alk. paper)
9781590172384 (alk. paper)
Branch Call Number: 955.0544 DEB
Characteristics: xvi, 230 p. ; 22 cm


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