This is the third volume (after Afghanistan and British Borneo) of a projected Country Survey Series on certain areas and peoples of Eurasia and North Africa. So that comparisons might be easily made, a standard format is followed in the Country Survey Series; the restrictions imposed by any standard fo/rmat are too well known to mention here.
This present volume on Iran was prepared by three successive interdisciplinary teams at the Washington office of the Human Relations Area Files under the over-all supervision of Edward T. Hall, Jr., Director of Research; Herbert H. Vreeland. III, Assistant Director, Methodology; and Thomas Fitzsimmons, Assistant Director, Presentation. Disciplines represented were: anthropology, economics, geography, history, international relations, jurisprudence, political science, social psychology, and military science.
Work began in March 1955. Since this was the first survey undertaken, several problems had to be solved before the volume was finally completed in 1956. Most difficult was the problem of presenting the view- point of the Iranian (or specifically the Persian) not as the Westerner thinks he should be, but as the Persian sees himself, his culture, his world. The entire staff with its variety of academic disciplines concerned themselves with arriving at a team consensus on all aspects of Iranian life. Experts were called in and Iranians were consulted. The file on Iran (see appendix) compiled by the Human Relations Area Files was also consulted on many points.
In this initial phase of data collection, the staff consisted of Kenneth G. Orr, chairman, Clifford R. Barnett, Wendell Blanchard, Lloyd Burlingham, Hugh G. Elbot, Robert S. McLellan. Florence Nierman, David J. Steinberg, Ernest A. Will, and Theodore W. Zetterberg.
With collection of data, problems of presentation arose. In order to present in a relatively few pages Iranian society as an integrated and meaningful whole, further difficulties had to be overcome. The team that . . .