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Tortured Confessions: Prisons and Public Recantations in Modern Iran Paperback – June 16, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0520218666 ISBN-10: 0520218663 Edition: 0th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (June 16, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520218663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520218666
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,546,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Elegantly written and fully documented."--"The Nation

From the Inside Flap

"Ervand Abrahamian's cogent and engrossing history of imprisonment and resistance, drawing on a wealth of prisoner literature and testimony, chronicles the continuities and ruptures of modern Iran from the vantage points of its shackled dissidents. Readers will encounter some extraordinarily heroic men and women in this account of how Iran came to practice the techniques of ideological discipline and punishment characteristic of Inquisition Spain and Stalin's Soviet Union. Abrahamian shows how the government's mass media production of forced recantations backfired by prompting Iranians to confront the mass-scale torture used to extract them and to ask what kind of state would inflict these horrors on its citizens."—Joe Stork, Advocacy Director, Human Rights Watch, Middle East and North Africa Division

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read this book and it did not add anything to my knowledge about Khomeini's regime. As a person who has lived in that country and his dearest friends and families were killed under the torture or by firing squads this book was not really informative. 1. Its statistics about political prisoners who were executed is not accurate. For example in page 129 it talks about 12500 prisoners who were killed by the Iranian government. It says that 74 percent of them were executed but in page 130 talks about 7943 executed people, obviously 74 percent of the 12500 is not 7943. Iranian regime has killed thousands of political prisoners but the government does not publish the names only the names of 25000 of them were published by opposition groups so you can imagine that the real number should be over 100000. 2. Mr. Abrahamian does not really analyze the reason of the public recantations of some of the prisoners but the heroic resistance of others. What was the reason that some people were so strong and some people not as strong as they were? 3. He does not talk about Khomeini's religious decree to rape virgin girls before execution. 4.He does not talk about Khomeini's religious decree to take the blood of political prisoners before execution.
But as a whole, this book has some information about Iran under the Islamic regime for Western scholars. You can read it and you will get a sense of what has gone to our generation.
Aydin
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard B. Thompson on January 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
Speaking as one who has a limited knowledge of Iranian history, this book was informative. However, the focus is not really on the implications of the public recantations in Iran. The author spends much time recounting the history of the commonly jailed political parties and the conditions of their incarceration. There was not a much as I would have liked about the impact of the recantations on the public or the social implications of such recantations. Even a few personal interviews with some of the prominent personalities who recanted would have helped us to understand the gravity of the situation. Still the information is fascinating and the book is necessary if one is at all interested in Iran.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Reza on January 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
Ervand Abrahamian provides intriguing information on the state of politics and political prisoners dating from early 1920's until the 1988 executions under the Islamic Republic. He analyzes revealing prison literature and cases involving the families of inmates. Prison life and court cases were discussed in great detail under various regimes ending with the 1988 executions. However, the author neglected to mention the exacerbation of prison conditions and the ongoing trend of recantations in modern Iran under the Islamic Republic, which take place even today. Overall, the book was didactically written and I definitely recommend it for all who share the interest.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is an excellent scholarship on a very important issue in Iran. I highly recommend the book.
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