World-renowned Iranian expert Homa Katouzian presents the first comprehensive introduction to one of the world’s most controversial and misunderstood countries
Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been locked in conflict with the United States and Europe. Personified in the West by a series of bogeymen from Ayatollah Khomeini to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this villainous mask obscures a far more complex identity, forged by a vibrant and chaotic history.
Revealing the country’s true face, acclaimed expert Homa Katouzian delves deep into Iran’s past, exploring how an ancient civilization at a crossroads of diverse dynasties and religions grew to become an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally rich nation. Centuries of arbitrary rule and revolution – from the first Persian empires to the Green Movement – are brought to life as Katouzian offers fresh insight into this fascinating country. Asking where its future may lie post–Arab Spring, this is the perfect primer for understanding a country characterized by constant flux and controversy.
Dr Homa Katouzian is the editor of Iranian Studies and Iran Heritage Foundation Research Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford University. He is author of numerous books on Iranian Literature, History and Society.
“Drawing on the author’s encyclopedic knowledge of Iran’s history, politics, economy, and culture, Homa Katouzian’s Iran: A Beginner’s Guide is the most lucid, engaging, and authoritative introduction to the study of Iran available in any language today.”
– Ali Banuazizi - Professor of Political Science and Director, Program in Islamic Civilization & Socie
“An excellent historical introduction to Iranian politics and political culture from ancient Persia to the contemporary Islamic Republic. It is a must-read book for beginners and an exemplary textbook for undergraduate courses.”
– Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi - Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the Univ
“A must read for those who want to know Iran really well. Short, lucid, and highly informative, it could only have been written by a doyen of Iranian Studies.”
– Fariba Adelkhah - author of Being Modern in Iran and Director of Research at SciencesPo/CERI
“Homa Katouzian’s book offers a comprehensive overview of Iran’s history. He sheds light on the most complex aspects of Iran’s social, political, and cultural history and yet does so in a concise and accessible way.”
– Nasrin Rahimieh - Maseeh Chair and Director of the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Cult