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Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic
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Hidden Iran: Paradox and Power in the Islamic Republic

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  122 ratings  ·  13 reviews
A leading expert explains why we fail to understand Iran and offers a new strategy for redefining this crucial relationship




For more than a quarter of a century, few countries have been as resistant to American influence or understanding as Iran. The United States and Iran have long eyed each other with suspicion, all too eager to jump to conclusions and slam the door. What
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 3rd 2006 by Times Books
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Rhesa
I just get this book from my friend who often visit Kinokuniya in Suria KLCC, just finished reading chapter 1. So far I can say that this book is written in a language style that appeal to everybody, from academicians to curious layman.

Here the author tries to paint a different picture of Islamic Republic of Iran as we've been traditionally perceiving as monolithic pan islamism, but he argues that actually there are many secular forces in Iranian society that play a huge influence in Iranian le
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Stephen Braigen
Overall an insightful and well researched book that explores and connects the complex nature of Iran politics, the factions that comprise the government, their regional influence and aspirations, and the situation between the US and Iran.

Takeyh's writing is dry at best, so I would not recommend this book unless you are really interested in the Middle East and politics.

Also, some of the analysis is outdated, given the fast-moving nature of the situation in the Middle East.
Anthony
If the middle east interests you and you believe you need some explanation of Iran and how clerics control a society, then this is a must read. I read this book a couple of years ago and we are still doing the dance with this near rogue country. Many of the things warned about six years ago are coming to pass.
Will Nassau
good analysis but dry writing.
alan
As of 2015 - this book is lightly out of date due to the election of President Hassan Rouhani in 2013. The book is from 2006.

While it may be 10 years old, it handily describes the internal cultural and social forces which exact pressure on Iranian Guardian Council ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guardian... ), which nevertheless wields vast powers over lawmaking.

Overall, Takeyh provides layers upon layers of context meant for Western audiences who are otherwise unfamiliar with Iranian history, cu
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Seyed
Once again another self-declared "expert" in Iranian affairs writes a history report about the [not-so:]current Iranian question (don’t know how else to put it,) sans any analysis.

The author has borrowed his material from two distinct sources:
- Con IRI - the Western Media and their mouthpieces
- Pro IRI - the Iranian Media and their mouthpieces

In other words, there is nothing in this book that an average reader who’s interested in the Iranian question and has followed the storylines over-the-year
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Mohammed Alzawari
من الكتب التي تشدك ببساطه طرحها وربطها بالاحداث السياسية الحالية ، كتاب ممتع لمن يهتم بالشأن السياسي ككل والشأن الايراني خصوصا .
Diane
This book analyzes Iranian domestic politics and history to provide the reader with a look at Iran as its people see it. The book challenges much of the conventional wisdom about Iran, but does provide insights not often expressed in Western treatments of the subject. I think the author may have gone overboard in trying to understand the Iranians, to the point where he underestimates their drawbacks, but it is still a unique look at a fascinating but often difficult country.
Isaac
Good introduction to Iranian political history since the revolution. However, it is kind of dry and, in light of recent events in the past few months, is in need of a serious update.
Brian
A good introduction to internal and external politics in Iran and, more importantly, the driving forces underlying those relationships.
Nicki
I read this awhile ago and literally don't remember a thing. Doesn't make much of an impression I guess?
Renee Blackmon
Not an easy read, but great insights into the inner workings of Iranian policy.
Ryan
Sep 06, 2007 Ryan is currently reading it
Reading it now!
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“Since the inception of the Islamic Republic, the United States has pursued a policy of containment in various forms, essentially relying on political coercion and economic pressure to press Iran in the right direction. The failure of this policy is routinely documented by the U.S. State Department, which insists on issuing reports denouncing Iran as the most active state sponsor of terrorism and warning that its nuclear program is rapidly advancing toward weapons capability. The American diplomats fail to appreciate how, after twenty-seven years of sanctions and containment, Iran's misbehavior has not changed in any measurable manner. Even more curious, the failed policy of containment enjoys a widespread bipartisan consensus, as governments as different as the Clinton and Bush administrations have largely adhered to its parameters. Although at times the Bush White House has indulged in calls for regime change, its essential policy still reflects the containment consensus. In Washington policy circles evidently nothing succeeds like failure.” 1 likes
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