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The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation
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The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  138 ratings  ·  11 reviews
The Iranians explores Iran in the context of its old and complex culture, for throughout its history Iran has struggled with two warring identities-one evolving from the values, social organization, and arts of ancient Persia, the other from Islam. By examining the relationship between these two identities, The Iranians explains how the revolution of 1979 came about, why t ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 1st 1998 by Plume (first published 1996)
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An engaging history of Iran for a general American audience, focusing on the historical forces of Persian culture and the Islamic faith as they interact today. Things I learned from this book still come to mind constantly when I'm listening to news about Iran, and even Iraq and the wider region.
Babak Fakhamzadeh
The book details the history of Iran from the first 'King of Kings', Cyrus the great, to the present. Particularly Mackey's insights in to contemporary Iran are clear, to the point and very good. A must read although some of her findings quickly became less relevant due to the 11 September attacks on New York and Washington and the subsequent attack of the US on Afghanistan.
Mackey claims that the US, with no clear 'enemy' after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, directs its hatred against
Carlos Alonso-Niemeyer
I read this book because the President of our company was Iranian and I wanted to learn more about this culture.
Great insights on the country and the culture. It does not provide the latests update on what is happening now, or the green revolution that they had a couple of years ago. However, great for book for people who want to learn about the Persian influence in this area.
Chantelle Moghadam
This was a great and informative book about persian history from the persian empire to modern Iran. Though it was slow at times, Mackey is incredibly knowledgeable about the Middle East and her in-depth research and interviews with people who lived through the history really show through in this comprehensive history.
Not particularly scholarly but the anecdotes and generalizations were well within reason , especially having lived through the time of the Iranian Revolution here in the States. My big question was , does she speak or read Farsi, would go along way to establishing credibility
Saïdeh Pakravan
An impressive, knowledgeable, well researched and highly entertaining overview of the Iranians, their history, their complex psychology, their rich cultural diversity.
Dec 13, 2011 Harvey added it
Iran is a most certainly complex nation, religiously, politically and culturally. One of the most interesting and compelling nation/state histories I've read.
Ann Timmins
I knew nothing about Iran and its people. They were highly educated and rich. It was very informative and of course full of history.
An excellent overview of Iran's history, culture, and politics for the lay reader
Tom & Beverly
very interesting a readable.
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