From Publishers Weekly
The American-Iranian relationship has been fraught for years—indeed, for far longer than most Americans realize—USA Today
diplomatic correspondent Slavin shows. Interweaving history with current events, she demonstrates how decades-old American perfidy continues to color Iranian expectations, much as the 1979 hostage crisis continues to affect Americans today. Without losing sight of the brutality with which the Islamic Republic was established—and is often maintained—Slavin skillfully presents its surprisingly multifaceted culture and political establishment, where mullahs are sometimes on the side of reform, and Western-minded businessmen might support systematic corruption and repression. The driving theme, however, is one of decades of missed opportunities, on both sides, to achieve rapprochement. Providing little-known details of the various contacts and arguments both between and within the American and Iranian leaderships, Slavin argues that the Bush administration badly misjudged Iran's leadership; by the time it offered to talk with Iran about its nuclear program, Iran had been so emboldened by other U.S. policies that it felt little pressure or inclination to accept. This articulate study helps clear the fog between two nations that have long and systematically demonized each other. (Oct.)
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Praise for Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies
"Rarely has a book been more necessary or more timely. Drawing on decades of experience in the Middle East, Barbara Slavin has produced a masterful study of today's Iran. From the dusty streets of Qum to the highest government offices, Slavin has used her finely honed reporter's instinct to gain access to every level of Iranian society. Often surprising, always accessible, it is an indispensible book for anyone concerned with the direction of United States foreign policy."-- Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of March
Praise for Barbara Slavin
"Barbara Slavin has had a unique opportunity to follow the difficult recent history of the United States and Iran and extraordinary access to high-level officials on both sides. She is a seasoned journalist and foreign policy expert whose insights about Iran should help Americans understand Iran and U.S. options for dealing with a fascinating, complicated, and crucial country."--Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State
"Barbara Slavin is uniquely qualified to address in-depth and with insight a uniquely complex and significant challenge facing U.S. foreign policy." --Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor
"I know Barbara Slavin as an accomplished, well-sourced journalist, who not only has a way with written words, but is equally eloquent when discussing foreign affairs during her frequent appearances on television."--Caryle Murphy, Washington Post reporter and author of Passion for Islam