America and Iran: Book summary and reviews of America and Iran by John Ghazvinian

America and Iran

A History, 1720 to the Present

by John Ghazvinian

America and Iran by John Ghazvinian X
America and Iran by John Ghazvinian
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Book Summary

An important, urgently needed book--a hugely ambitious, illuminating portrait of the two-centuries-long entwined histories of Iran and America, and the first book to examine, in all its aspects, the rich and fraught relations between these two powers--once allies, now adversaries. By an admired historian and the author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa's Oil ("he would do Graham Greene proud" - Kirkus Reviews).

In this rich, fascinating history, John Ghazvinian traces the complex story of the relations of these two powers back to the Persian Empire of the eighteenth century--the subject of great admiration of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams--and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government.

Drawing on years of archival research both in the United States and Iran--including access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars--the Iranian-born, Oxford-educated historian leads us through the four seasons of U.S.-Iran relations: the "spring" of mutual fascination; the "summer" of early interactions; the "autumn" of close strategic ties; and the long, dark "winter" of mutual hatred.

Ghazvinian, with grasp and a storyteller's ability, makes clear where, how, and when it all went wrong. And shows why two countries that once had such heartfelt admiration for each other became such committed enemies; showing us, as well, how it didn't have to turn out this way.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Ghazvinian distills much complicated history into a lucid, graceful narrative...The result is a nuanced, illuminating, and much-needed corrective to one-sided vilifications of Tehran." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"In this relevant, highly elucidating work, Ghazvinian employs the poetic theme of the changing of seasons as he moves through the evolving relationship between the U.S. and Iran...An excellent single-volume history of a fraught international relationship that shows few signs of improvement." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Readers interested in the history of U.S.-Iran and Middle Eastern politics and history will find Ghazvinian's book to be richly telling and in-depth." - Library Journal

"Ghazvinian describes in exquisite detail the relationship between Iran and the United States--from its inception in the years before the American Revolution to the present day. Beautifully laid out and at time reading like a thriller you don't want to put down ... Ghazvinian deftly shows us when, where, and why things went (and still do go) wrong. If ever the question 'why do they hate us' arises in the Iranian context, just read this book." - Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

"History in the hands of a master. Ghazvinian leads us far beyond the mindless shouting of recent decades to tell a story of friendship, sacrifice, and discovery. Should be required reading in both Tehran and Washington." - Ambassador John Limbert, US Deputy Secretary of State for Iran (2009-10); former hostage in the US Embassy in Tehran (1979-81)

This information about America and Iran shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

John Ghazvinian

John Ghazvinian was born in Iran and raised in London and Los Angeles. He has a doctorate in history from Oxford University. Ghazvinian's writing has appeared in Newsweek, the Sunday Times, New Statesman, Slate, and the Nation. He directs the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania and lives in Philadelphia.

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