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Ahmadinejad: The Secret History of Iran's Radical Leader Hardcover – May 12, 2008

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; 1 edition (May 12, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520256638
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520256637
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,025,809 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“A critical and revealing biography of Iran’s controversial president.”
(Max Rodenbeck New York Review Of Books 2009-01-15)

From the Inside Flap

"An excellent biography, one that is lively and informative, and at the same time sets the President in his international and domestic contexts. In so doing, Naji provides a most informative portrait of Iran today, and of the many, conflicting, forces that are at play within it."—Fred Halliday, author of 100 Myths about the Middle East

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Potkin on September 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is not a detailed biography with ins and outs of Ahmadi-nejad's entire personal life story up to now, if you want to read a biography of Ahmadi-nejad you may have to wait until something like that is written some time in the future. However, if you want to be updated with a factual account of what is going on in Iran now and who runs the Islamic Republic, reading this book is a must!

It is one of the best explanations I have read in English on what Islamic Republic elections are about ....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By T. G. S. Hawksley on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Some of the finest writers about Iran's politics such as Ray Takeyh or Vali Nasr are, without doubt, experts in their field - but they live in America. Right from the start of this book, with its vivid descriptions of a distraught and dusty Ahmadinejad burying his father, you sense the author is not only a complete master of his subject, but he has been close to the events he is writing about.

Much of the material such as the reverence for the missing Mahdi, the holocaust denial conference, the erratic economic policies, or the rambling letters to Bush and Merkel are familiar from the general media, but because Naji was in Iran while it happened, the picture has a refreshing immediacy. Naji was certainly an eye witness on the opening day of the holocaust denial conference - `Nowhere else in the world could you find such a mixed bag: American white supremacists, European Nazis, fundamentalist Muslims and ultra-orthodox anti Zionist Jews milled around, exchanging handshakes and smiles.' And as he wandered around the centre he lets us know about a model of Auschwitz which was on display, proving large numbers of Jews could not have been killed. He is also thorough, but concise, with his background material throughout the book, so for the conference he gives us the depressing bios of some of the delegates such as David Duke, former head of the Ku Klux Klan or Veronica Clark, head of the Adolf Hitler Research Society, who presented a paper on how Hitler was in fact very lenient with Jewry or Patrick McNally who called the holocaust `a vicious lie.'

It is not surprising that after writing this book Naji has had to leave Iran. For his sharp eye underlines two alarming characteristics about President Ahmadinejad and the other hard-liners.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dark Confidant on August 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This work was a great introduction into the known life of Iran's Ahmadinejad. This was my first book on the subject and once I finished the reading I felt that I knew that much more about Iran's leader that is under much scrutiny from other world powers. If anyone wants to gain insight into present day Iran and Ahmadinejad, this book is a must. The book was well written and presented clearly. You'll not only learn about Ahmadinejad, but also of those that helped shape his political ideas. The title is relatively cheap compared to some of the other books available on the subject and is a very interesting read.
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