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

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

by Sandra Mackey, Scott Harrop


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Throughout its long and complex 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 the Islamic Republic has failed, and how Iran today is on the brink of chaos. In this defining portrait of a troubled nation and the forces that shape it, Iranian history and religion become accessible to the nonspecialist. Combining impeccable scholarship with the human insight of firsthand observations, The Iranians provides vital understanding of this unique and pivotal nation.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780452275638
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/28/1998
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 460,338
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sandra Mackey is a highly respected expert on Middle Eastern culture and politics who has reported for many periodicals, and has appeared on Nightline, ABC News with Peter Jennings, and NPR. She also served as a commentator for CNN on the Gulf War. She is the author of three previous books, including The Saudis and Passion and Politics: The Turbulent World of the Arabs. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Table of Contents

Author's Note

Part I
1. The Glory of Persia
2. The Invasion of Islam
3. God and State

Part II
4. The Faces of Authority: Father, King and Cleric
Part III
5. King and Nation: Iran's First Revolution
6. Reza Shah: To the Glory of the Nation
7. The Shah and the Prime Minister: Iran's Second Revolution
8. The Shah and the Ayatollah: Persia and Islam
9. The Persian Empire of Muhammad Reza Shah

Part IV
10. The Double Revolution
11. The Internal and External: Wars for the Iranian Nation
12. Islamic Government: Religion, Culture and Power
13. The Islamic Republic of Iran: The Failed Quest for Justice

Afterword to the Plume Edition
Selected Bibliography

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The Iranians: Persia, Islam and the Soul of a Nation 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In her book, Sandra Mackey has captured what it is to be an Iranian, before and after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. She has explained the social and political reasons behind the Iranian Revolution very well. A great help for my thesis.
Howser51 More than 1 year ago
I have just started reading this book so my review will be incomplete. From what I have read so far the author digs deep into the history dating back to before the Persian Empire. I looked at many of the other books on Iran and thought that this book would give me an unbiased account of the history of Iran.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have just completed Mackey's "Saudis, Inside the Desert Kingdom" and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in today's world situation regarding the thinking of the Arab psychic. Her book is very well researched and her personal experiences in that part of the world mirror my own experiences in Tripoli, Libya in the mid 1970s. I am very grateful she has the insights and willingness to understand the cultural differences we were exposed to, she helps us understand what's going on and why!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
For the reader with at least a passing interest in the Shah of Iran, the tumultuous revolution, and the sometimes confusing years which followed, this book provides a good starting point for understanding modern Iran. One criticism, however: the author's disdain for U.S. policy is often palpable, leaving one to wonder how much this bias affects the overall presentation of her work. We learn more than once, for example, that the 'only' reason American did X or Y was to serve the most base and self-serving purpose imaginable. Maybe so, but the author seems indifferent to the fact that the U.S. faced, and continues to face, difficult choices in the region and generally does the best it can to serve both its own interests and those of the affected people in Iran.