The History of Iran

The History of Iran

The History of Iran

The History of Iran

Synopsis

With almost three thousand years of history, Iran is home to one of the world's richest and most complex cultures. Yet to the average American the name Iran probably conjures up an image of a remote and upstart country inhabited by a people whose religious fanaticism is matched only by the intensity of their disdain for the United States and its values, who speak an obscure tongue called Farsi, and whose identity is not clearly distinguished from that of their Arab neighbors. This work offers an objective and engagingly written portrait of the Iranian people and their complex history from the perspective of one of the world's foremost experts on the country. It is ideal for student use and for the interested reader.

Excerpt

Iran has almost three thousand years of history, and it is home to one of the world’s richest and most complex cultures. To attempt to treat such a subject adequately in one volume, or even many volumes, is not an easy task. Virtually all fields of Iranian history suffer from being under-researched. Most lack adequate primary source material, because it is either nonexistent or inaccessible. They are also marked by many controversies and academic debates. Each has special problems in the way names and technical terms are represented in English translation or transliteration. There are many uncertainties in terms of chronology and obtaining precise dates for events. In numerous cases, it is possible to say what happened but only to guess at why because there is so little concrete information about the motivation and intent of the actors.

That said, the purpose of this book is to provide general readers with a concise, readable, and up-to-date survey of the country’s history based on the expertise of the contemporary historian. It is largely a political history, with a concentration on the modern period.

No attempt has been made to employ a rigorous and systematic transliteration of names and terms. When names and technical terms are transliterated, a simple scheme without any special diacriticals is used; the letters ayn, hamzeh, etc., are not indicated. In deference to a common

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