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The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  90 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Who really rules Iran today? Are the men in official positions merely puppets activated by hidden hands? How are decisions made in a system that appears so chaotic at first glance? Is the current political structure doomed to conflict? These are some of the questions that Amir Taheri addresses in this riveting and timely book. An anatomy of one of the most secretive regime ...more
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Published October 19th 2010 by Encounter Books (first published 1986)
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Diane
Jun 30, 2009 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a scathing review of Iran under the revolutionary regime. The author provides insight into the background of Khomeini and his revolution, although the focus is mainly on how he distorts traditional Islamic and Persian culture. The author argues that there remains a Persian culture within Iran that is not in line with the Khomeinist ideology. The book presents more in-depth information than most studies of modern Iran provide. The book's main weakness is that it focuses on the Irania ...more
Sheryl
Aug 18, 2009 Sheryl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A well researched, well thought out book. Takes a hard line stance, purporting that Iran is a fascist regime, which uses Islam as a stick both to rally and beat its people. A completely different take on the country from this book which argues that Iran must be reckoned with in a more moderate fashion. Unfortunately, if one book is right the other must be wrong, and action that is taken with regard to Iran without understanding Iran may well have dire consequences for the West and Israel.
Jennifer Aupke
Jul 25, 2012 Jennifer Aupke rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Taheri gives a thorough analysis of the rise of the Khomeneinist regime and the political philosophy of the leaders it has put in power. Although he applies a Western Conservative bend to some of the interpretations of events in Iran, he is complete in his retelling of events and he provides a very unique look at the rise of the Islamic Republic as it is today.
Del
Jul 24, 2012 Del rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent look at the suffering of the Iranian people and what motivates their tyrannical rulers.

Listened to the unabridged audiobook on Audible.com.
Ali MSK
Mar 01, 2012 Ali MSK rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
I did not like this book. Not only would I not recommend it due to being outdated (it was published before the June 2009 demonstrations) but I found it to contain quite a few mistakes and mis-leading information that are clearly there to proof the author's point.

The author does offer an interesting perspective, and does have a point regarding the nature of the regime. But the book is full of information the author presents as "facts" without references or any other sources, which he sprinkles he
...more
Libyrinths
Feb 18, 2011 Libyrinths rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the most informative books I've read on Khomeinist Iran. Taheri discusses how Khomeinist Shia Islam isn't even normal Shia Islam, itself a minority approach to Islam. He also discusses the structure of the government, which is something I haven't found elsewhere.

Taheri predominantly shows how there are really two Irans -- the revolutionary one and the state. The revolutionary one is Khomeinist, fascist, repressive, anti-Iranian, and not supported by the majority of people in Iran. The st
...more
John
An informative book, though incredibly biased. I'd say Taheri's most shocking point for me was that the rulers couldn't care less about Iran as a nation, indeed they're hostile to the idea, suppressing it at every opportunity. They are "using" control of the nation solely as a springboard to spread Shi'ism. This revised edition frustratingly ends just before the recent uprisings in the country.
I'm not sure about recommending the audio, as it gets rather bogged down in spots with the continual re
...more
Dan
This book made me re-think my opinions regarding engagement with the Islamic Republic. On the downside, I am inherently suspicious of some aspects of the author's argument, in particular his relating of the current conditions inside the Islamic Republic;; to take his words as is, the time is right for a Western attack on the Republic and to do so would cause significant damage to the regime. I would have liked to have seen him respond to the classic argument that a Western attack against the reg ...more
Sarah
Well argued, the only part I disliked was the one-sided history of the headscarf. The author does well to separate true Islam from the maniacal perversion of the faith that the Khomeinists propagate, but the bit about the headscarves was presented without differentiation between fundamentalists and women who find power in the veil.

It is obvious the author has no affinity for religion.
Aaron Shields
Good content in spots, although at times skewed by author's ideology. Flow was poor at times, thus the average rating. That said, a good source on the last 30 years in Iran from an insider's perspective. Was worth the time
Mark
Apr 28, 2010 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author is clearly pro-monarchist, but there is still a lot of detailed information in here about how Khomeini came to power, what the power structures are in Iran, untold history since the revoultion, etc. Needs to be updated to the events of last year.
Sandra
I started reading this after the Iranian election chaos. It's very interesting, although written with a conservative slant (American conservative, that is)
Tom Schulte
A detailed and scary recent history overview of this dangerously poised and possibly unstable nation.
Elanor
Mar 22, 2010 Elanor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative, though a bit laborious at times
Adam Balshan
3.5 stars [Politics]
A crucial book on Khomeinist fascism, the elements that undermine it in the 21st century, and prescription of foreign policy options to effect its downfall.

A few parts should have been omitted, such as the detailed enumeration of every major state organ, its leaders, and political history. The greatest omission was that only two lines were given to mention Christianity in Iran; Christianity is exploding, and is one of the greatest counterrevolutionary forces in the country. H
...more
Dustin
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Jun 27, 2012
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