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The Golden Cage: Three Brothers, Three Choices, One Destiny Hardcover – April 30, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Bold and brave” (Wall Street Journal)

“Very powerful” (PBS Frontline)

“Extraordinary” (The Independent, U.K.)

“Riveting ... this moving book is a monument in itself, commemorating friendship and the human spirit” (The Times, UK)

“Moving memoir” (Publishers Weekly)

“Poignant memories... painfully real” (Amnesty International)

“Nobel winner writes of peace” (NPR All Things Considered)

“Masterpiece... a beautiful innocence of writing” (Ceasefire Magazine)

“Powerful declaration between each line” (Diplomat Magazine)

About the Author

Shirin Ebadi, a worldwide advocate for human rights, is the first Iranian and first Muslim woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize (2003). Her book Iran Awakening has been translated into forty languages.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kales Press (April 30, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979845645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979845642
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #424,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By DGaudet on May 8, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was very excited to order and read this book given Shirin Ebadi's status as a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. The story relates the family history of a close friend of Ms. Ebadi's and the tragic lives of the family's three brothers.

Although the beginning of the book seemed disorganized and a little confusing, things settled down as I began to understand the main characters and their personalities. Although Ms. Ebadi is the narrator, the book is not really about her or her life. It is about her friend's family and three brothers, all of whom chose different political beliefs and associations.

From this book I gained insight into the culture, traditions, religion, and politics of Iran from the 1900's until today. I gained additional respect for the people of Iran and the stresses and the hardships they live with daily. I applaud Ms. Ebadi for relating what must have been a difficult story. Even though the book itself may not directly change the status of people in Iran, she has done what the Iranian sociologist Ali Shariati suggested (on page 252 of Ebadi's book) and that is "if you can't eliminate injustice, at least tell everyone about it". Thank you, Ms. Ebadi, for telling us all about it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Blagg on July 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I don't write reviews. But I had to comment on this book. I felt that I could not read this book and then not have my voice join Shirin's in protesting the oppression the people of Iran are under. I hope everyone who reads this book will comment and let others know that the story is being heard and hearts are being touched.

Thanks, Shirin, for having the courage and taking the risk to share this story. Thanks, Pari, for allowing your family's story be told.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alex on December 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have tremendous respect for Shirin Ebadi, having read her book Iran Awakening, and the modern peacemakers book Shirin Ebadi. This is a woman committed to Human Rights as well as love for her country. She shows in this book three different perspectives of the three brothers who were family friends for many years. For those of us who wonder how perspectives are shaped, and lives lived so differently in one family and all of the Moslem fait she sheds light on just that, while making clear her deep need for social justice in Iran. Dr. Ebadi is a key founder of the Nobel Woman's Imitative, a group of Nobel Prize winning women working together to raise awareness in creating nonviolent social change. I consider this book a must read for those interested in the struggle for human rights in Iran,or anywhere else.
Meera C.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruce McDonald on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
The history told by "The Golden Cage" is important, and complex, and vastly misunderstood by so many of us in the west. I was a US Air Force instructor pilot and actually taught a few Iranian Air Force pilots when we were on best-buddy terms with the Shah, and I remember what happened with all that. Learning later about the Cold War intrigues that had propped up the relationship and made it so toxic left me with the sad knowledge that the US was responsible for so much of what happened there, in our zeal to fight Communism at all costs. Most of my contemporaries also remember the Iran hostage crisis and have a vague notion that Iranians are dangerous and that their government is dangerous or worse, erratic and unpredictable. Many people I know confuse Iran and Iraq, thinking of them interchangeably as religious zealots who think of us as Satan and who mistreat women. All of these blanket impressions and misunderstandings fade in the light of the stories of real people. Ebadi's story, though couched in terms so stark that they seem to be caricatures, is dripping with unpleasant reality.

As important as the story was, and as powerful and brave as the message was, the writing seemed rushed and the dialogue wooden, as if it were a fable for children. That and the rather disorganized first part of the book got me going toward an unfavorable opinion, say three stars. I have to appreciate how hard it must have been for Ebadi to relive this true story (I think it's true), though, in telling it. It was told in such stark terms that we could understand it, and that made me glad to have read it. The book was educational at the least, and at its best it was a monument to the pain and loss caused by extremism of all kinds.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Q on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I am truly prideful of Shirin Ebadi and her courageous work, that has led to becoming a human rights noble leader and role model for our [now] broken country.
My review is specifically in regards to this book.

Cons:
1- Lets be honest, first of all, the cover image is misleading. I really thought this book is about the three main mullahs (Beheshti, etc.) that were the key players in the islamic revolution and Khomieni's inner circle. Particularly because the cover image shows three mullahs standing before a large crowd, and introduction refers to "three brothers" which was interpreted as the Islamic brotherhood.
2- The first half of the novel is a bit unclear and scattered. Some of my early questions were answered later after getting through the first 100pages.
3- The story is quite bias. The political events and some characters are portrayed in a very specific bias way.
I am quite disappointed that Shirin Ebadi didnt try to maintain a neutral position in regards to the political events and figures such as the Shah, or Khomeini, etc. especially considering that this is a 'novel', the story of how a family (one of millions) got destroyed throughout the country's internal turmoil. Her personal perspective and beliefs definitely set a different tone to the whole story and skew the reader's point of view.

Pro:
1- The book explains the regime's dark sides quite well. The horrific events, brutal mass murders, blind and heartless followers of the regime, anti women and human rights rules, extreme suppression and brainwashing systems, unstable political structure, etc. are all very nicely laid out and touched upon.
2- The emotional and cultural moments of the story are quite strong.
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