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The Cauldron: The Middle East Behind the Headlines Paperback – October 20, 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Hutchinson (October 20, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009173729X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091737290
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,770,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Amir Taheri was born in Ahvaz, southwest Iran, and educated in Tehran London and Paris. He joined Kayhan International, Tehran's English daily newspaper in 1968 as an opera critic and then cultural correspondent. A year later he was appointed Diplomatic Correspondent and in 1971 became the paper's Political Editor.
In 1972 he was appointed Executive Editor-in-Chief of the Persian language daily Kayhan, Iran's largest newspaper, a post he held until the Islamic Revolution in 1979.
Since then he has edited a number of newspapers and magazines in France and Britain and contributed to many leading publications in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. His columns are published by many newspapers across the globe.
In four decades of journalism, Taheri has interviewed many of the world's political leaders and cultural and artistic icons. He has also published 11 books on Islam, Iran, the Soviet Union, and the Middle East.
Taheri was a member of the Executive Board of the Institute for International Political and Economic Studies (IIPES)for four years during which he helped organise a number of seminars on the Persian Gulf and Iran's political developments.
Taheri was a member of the Executive Board of the International Press Institute (IPI) for eight years and a campiagner for press freedom across the globe. He also served on the Executive Board of the Reporters sans Frontieres for three years. He has been a Senior Fellow at the National Committee for American Foreign Policy (NCAFP) since 2002 and Director of its Middle East Project.
Over the past two decades Taheri has emerged as a leading participant in the debate taking place within the world of Islam. A frequent traveler to Muslim countries, Taheri has lectured in many universities, research institutes and political and cultural clubs, offering his ideas for reforming Islam and helping it come to terms with modernity.
Since 1982, Taheri has lived in Paris and London, with frequent and at times lengthy visits to the Middle East.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 29, 1999
Format: Paperback
Most people speaking of the Middle East think of the conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors. But the situation in that turbulent part of the world, where two-thirds of the known oil resources are located, is far more complex. The book under review provides a deeper insight into the six key issues of Middle Eastern political, social and cultural life which one could regard as six degrees of seperation between aspiration and reality. There is the clash between tradition and modernity, and the inability of almost all Middle Eastern societies, including very Westernised Israel, to come up with a synthesis of old values and new ethics. Amir Taheri, an internationally acclaimed journalist and author, bases the book on his own long experience of the region and the vast number of sources he has in the countries concerned. But it is at the level of the analysis that his book is especially interesting because he goes behind the healdines, as the sub-title of the book suggests, to dig out the undercurrents of history.In this way he helps us understand many events that would otherwise appear exotic and bizarre, and appreciate many political moves that might look illogical or downright foolish. The book is written in a simple but powerful prose and is thus accessible to both the scholars of the Middle East and those looking for a primer on the region. Farooq Ali, London, England
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Middle East has been in world news headlines for more than a century. As a meeting place of Islam and the West this region of the globe has often been a battleground as well as a meeting place for the rival civilisations on the opposite shores of the Mediterranean.
And,yet, it is remarkable how misunderstood the Middle East is in the West. ( The reverse is even more true: as the author of this book shows , Middle Easterners know even less about the West and much of what they know is fantasy!)
For the average man interested in politics the Middle East is where Jews and Arabs kill one another, where Kurds are driven out of their homes, and where Iranians and Iraqis devastated each other's homes for eight years.
But these are all headlines.
Taheri's ambition has been to find out what lies behind those headlines. He has succeeded where few scholars and journalists before him have. This is because he is a son of the region but with a deep knowledge of the West where he seems to have been living for some time, as a voluntary exile.
The only trouble I had with this book is the torrent of names, many of them difficult to pronounce let alone to remmeber, for a profane such as myself.Do we really need to know the names of everyone who was someone in some event?
Otherwise this is an easy-to-read book, full of information, and offering much insight into some of the complex issues of what is a zone of political turbulence even today.
Those who find it hard to understand why Arabs and Israelis cannot live together would do well to read this book. It offers some intelligent answers that one finds nowhere else.
A READER IN LONDON
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By andrea keame on March 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
The US-led coalition invades Iraq...
The Arab world is in turmoil....
Muslims everywhere are wondering what future they have.
The US, and the West in general, face terrorism of the most deadly kind for an unforeseeable future...
Israel is faced with years, may be decades, of mortal danger...
All these may be today's headlines. But they are all included and analyzed in this truly prophetic book that treats of the undercurrents of history in one of the most dangerous regions of the world.
The book, by an Iranian author an editor who now lives in the United States, first came out in the late 1980s but remains as up-to-date as any today. Its secret is that it does not bother with the passing appearances but digs deep into the profound and abiding causes of conflict.
I was given a dog-eared copy by a cousin, who had had it on her college reading list in 1992, and devoured the book at a single reading that lasted four or five hours.
Every minute of that time was well spent.
This is a sure classic.
Why is it not reissued so that many more people can read it?
Andrea Keame
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By wendy vederer on March 4, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a magnificent book, full of exciting analysis and new ways of assessing old assumptions.
Anyone who wishes to udnerstand what is in effect " the heart of darkness" in the political map of the world today should read this book.
Wendy Vederer, Bandar Sri Bagawan
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