Iran has rarely been out of the headlines. Yet media interest and extensive coverage has tended to hinder rather than help our understanding of Iran as an idea, an identity, and a people, leading to a superficial understanding of what is a complex and nuanced political culture and civilization. This Very Short Introduction presents a radical reinterpretation of Iranian history and politics, placing the Islamic Revolution in the context of a century of political change and social transformation. By considering the various factors that have contributed towards the construction of the idea of Iran and the complex identity of Iranians themselves, Ali Ansari steers a clear path towards a more realistic understanding for us all. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Ali M. Ansari is Professor of Iranian History & Founding Director of the Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews; Senior Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute; Vice President of the British Institute for Persian Studies. He is the author of The Politics of Nationalism in Modern Iran (CUP, 2012) and Crisis of Authority: Iran's 2009 Presidential Election (Chatham House, 2010). In 2013 Ali Ansari was elected President of BIPS.
1. Preface ; 2. The West and Iran ; 3. Iran and Persia ; 4. Iran and Islam ; 5. Iran and the West ; 6. Conclusion ; Further reading ; Index