- Paperback: 406 pages
- Publisher: Yale University Press; 1st edition (October 1, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0300098561
- ISBN-13: 978-0300098563
- Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,551,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution 1st Edition
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"If one has only limited time to gain an appreciation of the revolutionary force of Islam in Iran, it should be spent here." Scott Armstrong, Washington Post Book World "A work of excellent scholarship and rare impartiality." John Renard, America "Keddie has a strong grasp of historical material. She displays a characteristically impressive capacity for compression and consolidation of recent historical research." Shaul Bakhash, New York Review of Books "For three decades, Nikki Keddie has been one of the most perceptive, sensitive, and insightful analysts of Iran. Providing information about a region where instant experts are the norm, Keddie's work has always been profoundly important and has had a major impact on the way Iranians think about themselves." Ahmed Rashid, author of Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia and Taliban
From the Back Cover
"For three decades, Nikki Keddie has been one of the most perceptive, sensitive, and insightful analysts of Iran. Providing information about a region where instant experts are the norm, Keddie's work has always been profoundly important and has had a major impact on the way Iranians think about themselves."-Ahmed Rashid, author of Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia and Taliban AUTHORBIO: Nikki R. Keddie is professor of history at the University of California Los Angeles.
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Top customer reviews
Eventually, the twin peaks of foreign domination and repressive security practices that brutalized the Iranian people gave rise to the Islamic Revolution. Keddie depicts a post-revolution Iran that is struggling between moderates and conservatives united around a basic set of founding principles for the Islamic Republic. Adding to the struggle is the unique governing structure of Iran that puts many of the major decisions in the hands of a rarely seen religious establishment.
This book could also use an update to incorporate the protests over the 2009 election and continued tension between the United States and Iran. But the bottom line remains solid: revolutions don't happen overnight and revolutions are often more complex than the black and white of newspaper headlines or partisan politicians make them out to be.
Also, the articles have a very low content to word ratio. Every article is like a column in a newspaper or website where the source only gave a one line statement but their editor made them write an entire column. In addition, each story is written using sources who have a very limited perspective.
Overall this book is a miss. I don't know if you can see my purchases on Amazon, but I have purchased at least 10 books about Iran and I have checked out at least 3 times that many from the library.
If slow news days are your favorite days to read the newspaper, crack this book open. If you have limited intelligence and are unable to assimilate more than 1 meaningful sentence per paragraph, this book is right up your alley. However, if you want to gain an understanding of Iran then buy something else.
That being said, Modern Iran should be on the reading lists of many, but it will take much more than this book to really gain an understanding of Iran. It's kind of a cheap shot to criticize a history book for not covering enough material. How could any one book adequately cover an entire country's history? I am criticizing this book largely because the amount of material left out really surprised me. Things like the Iran-Iraq war or the actual revolution itself were not covered very well at all. I feel as though I have learned from reading this book, but not as much as I should have.
For readability, I was really let down by this book. The way that Keddie presented this material was incredibly difficult for me to navigate. I read four other books from the time when I started reading Modern Iran and when I finished. I never read more than one book at once anymore, but there were four different times when I had to stop reading this book and pick up something else (and I'm a huge nerd that loves reading about this stuff in his free time, so I find this particularly troubling).
I actually felt that I came away with a better understanding of Iran from Pollack's book The Persian Puzzle. These are the only two books devoted exlusively to Iran that I have read, but the Pollack book was much easier to read and explored topics in much greater depth.
The negative aspects aside, I would still recommend this book to others. But I would recommend reading Pollack's book first.