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The Persian Sphinx (in Persian) Paperback – May 1, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 564 pages
  • Publisher: Mage Publishers (May 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933823038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933823034
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,233,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

In this beautifully written biography of Hoveyda, Abbas Milani provides us with a superb analysis of Iran and its poorly understood revolution. -- Middle East Journal, James A Brill, Winter 2001

Milani's biography of Hoveyda is a compelling read....not only highly readable, but balanced, well researched and exceedingly competent. -- The Spectator (London) 26 August 2000 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Language Notes

Text: Persian (translation)
Original Language: English --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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The Persian Sphinx is a must read book for any one who is interested in Iran and it's history.
Mehdi Safipour
Dr. Milani is frighteningly honest and admirably objective in writing a TRUE biography which in itself is a rare comodity in the Iranian history collection.
Hamid Bahadori
Mr. Milani's style of researched and carefully documented narrations leads one to believe that the work is historically accurate.
A reader in California

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By SHAYAN on December 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the emotional fervor of revolutions, the protagonists are often portrayed as larger than life creators of history. In The Persian Sphinx, Milani restores humanity to the story of a man who is more notable for what he could have done than for what he did.

Hoveyda, like so many Iranian politicians through history was complicit in betraying his ideals through silence and acquiescence in the face of encroaching authoritarianism. The haunting story of Hoveyda shows us the paramount importance of integrity in leadership.

With a tumultuous period in Iranian history as a backdrop to the story, the reader gains insight into much more than Hoveyda's life including: the incompetent regime of the Shah, the causes of the 1979 revolution, and the barbarism of the revolutionary period.

A great read
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By (Amir) Hassan Rafiey on June 29, 2001
Format: Hardcover
As an academic research-based writer, Milani did his best to clarify an unseen aspect of a traditional society's challenge to get modern. Hoveyda was a prototype of some Iranian intellectuals; quite benevolent and dedicated themselves to the progress of their nation, but quite silly, b/c of their inability to understand the root of their nation's retardation, i.e. lack of democracy. He and many others thought that they can work in a totalitarian regime without any capacity for a reform to hold modern values such as political freedom. Milani shows well that it's not only an illusion, but also a very risky one. Milani's competency in writing so documented and yet so easy-to-read and attractive, I think, is arised from his Western academic skills, his familiarity with Eastern, specially Iranian, literature and story-telling tradition, and his direct experience as a political activist in the opposition with the same government that Hoveyda was its prime minister for 13 years. In spite of this unpleasant experience, Milani has not given away his sense of justice, and this is also another reason for the attractiveness of the book.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By TruthBtold on August 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very fascinating, fair, and extremely well written. Like other readers (below), it was hard for me to put the book down once I started reading it. Through the life of Prime Minister Hoveyda, we learn how and why the Iranian Revolution succeeded and understand the reign of terror that followed the collapse of the Iranian Monarchy in 1979. I must say I did not expect an easy read when I purchased the book as I had read Dr. Milani's "Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Modernity in Iran" and found the book to be fascinating but truly academic in language and tone. Simply put, this is a very readable book and I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it. Wonderful writing!
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Hamid Bahadori on September 13, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Simply brilliant! A refreshing and objective account of not only the life and times of one of the most prominant political figures in the recent Iranian history, but a concise, albeit breif, summary of some critical events leading to the Iranian Revolution. Dr. Milani is frighteningly honest and admirably objective in writing a TRUE biography which in itself is a rare comodity in the Iranian history collection. You had better not start reading this book unless you have a couple of free days ahead of you, because once you start reading it, you can not simply stop until you have read it all. And even then it stays with you for a LONG LONG time. My deepest and most sincere congratulations and thanks to Dr. Milani for this great contribution to Iran's history.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 2003
Format: Hardcover
An extremely well written and well researched biography. It is clear that Mr. Milani is a true scholar. Rarely has a book about Iranian politics been so well researched and footnoted. Moreoever, The Persian Sphinx is easy to read. Entertaining to read for those without much knowledge about Iranian politics and a must for scholars of Iranian history and politics.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mehdi Safipour on June 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I couldn't put the book down. Abbas Milani has done a great job in researching not just on who Hoveyda was, but also on what went on behind the scenes between the power brokers of the time, such as Alam, Nahavandi, Zahedi, etc.
Abbas creates a clear picture of how the Shah was running Iran. He points out the good and the bad (not so good) side of Hoveyda, as well as telling us who were the goods, the bads and the uglies of Iran under the Shah.
Iranians might have thought they knew Hoveyda, but by reading this book they will realize they really didn't know anything about Hoveyda!
I certainly have a much better understanding of why the Iranian revolution happened after reading The Persian Sphinx.
The Persian Sphinx is a must read book for any one who is interested in Iran and it's history.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kamran dadsetan on February 12, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Milani must have gone through great pains to make sure all the information is factual. The book is written in a neutral language, it tells the good and the bad. This is a must read for every person with interest in recent Iranian History. Stay away from unauthorised translations copies of this book that was published in Iran.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
In this book, Dr. Milani demonstrates the depth of his research and investigation about Hoveyda's life. The book is extremely well researched and lacks any one-sided opinions. There are still some facts that need to be researched and revealed when/if the government archives open up to the public. Reading this book is recommended to those who are interested in the latest years of the Pahlavi regime in Iran and the events that lead to their down fall. It is also recommended that those who have an interest in A.A. Hoveyda as a person and a politician to read this book. It is a well researched, and well written book.
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