Iran: A Modern History

by Abbas Amanat

Hardcover, 2017

Call number

955 AMA



Yale University Press (2017), 1000 pages


A masterfully researched and compelling history of Iran from 1501 to 2009. This history of modern Iran is not a survey in the conventional sense but an ambitious exploration of the story of a nation. It offers a revealing look at how events, people, and institutions are shaped by currents that sometimes reach back hundreds of years. The book covers the complex history of the diverse societies and economies of Iran against the background of dynastic changes, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and the rise of the Islamic Republic. Abbas Amanat combines chronological and thematic approaches, exploring events with lasting implications for modern Iran and the world. Drawing on diverse historical scholarship and emphasizing the twentieth century, he addresses debates about Iran's culture and politics. Political history is the driving narrative force, given impetus by Amanat's decades of research and study. He layers the book with discussions of literature, music, and the arts; ideology and religion; economy and society; and cultural identity and heritage.… (more)

Library's review

Save this one for when you have lots of patient reading time. It is a dense history that covers 500 plus years, with a chronological organization that doubles back on itself frequently to cover major themes. I wish I could say that I understand Iran better for having read it, but Iranian/Persian culture and history remains somewhat confusing, overwhelming, and complex to the point of "the more I read, the less I feel I understand." Nevertheless, my overwhelmed sense of the complexity of this geographical area and its people has been enhanced (some of the details from this history will surface at times, I'm sure, and remind me to not be superficial or stereotypical in my judgements and reactions), and I will be following the developments in Iran with an new compassion that comes from the realization that nations, cultures, and peoples are never as easy to define as we'd like to believe. (Brian)… (more)




0300112548 / 9780300112542
Page: 0.1944 seconds