Reviews

  • An impressive exploration of Iran's development since 1979 into an unpredictable pseudo-democracy ... [a] calm and literate portrait of the Islamic Republic

    Guardian
  • If you were to read only one book on present-day Iran you could not do better than this ... Axworthy revokes the sound and fury of the revolution itself

    Ervand Abrahamian, Times Higher Education
  • Balances scholarly precision with narrative flair ... Axworthy does the best job so far of describing the Iran-Iraq war ... Axworthy's analytical approach helps him demystify a revolutionary regime that has needed to feed off myths. He revisits, and convincingly reinterprets, defining moments of the Islamic republic ... [with] scholarly rigour and first-class analysis. Anyone interested in this most complex of revolutions would do well to read [this book]

    Economist
  • Packed with gobbets of information and policy advice on how to deal with Iran

    Telegraph
  • [A] meticulously fair and scholarly work ... passages from Iranian authors little known in the west as well as references to both popular and arthouse cinema bring depth [and] richness ... moving and vivid ... a very fine work that deserves to be read by anyone interested in the Middle East

    Jason Burke, Observer
  • Axworthy is a true Iranophile, learned in history and literature ancient and modern ... [A] subtle, lucid, and well-proportioned history ... his method casts theocracy in a refreshingly cold light, and embosses the Islamic Republic's well-established subordination of faith to power

    Spectator
  • In this lucid, nicely written and well-paced work, Michael Axworthy provides a compelling overview of contemporary Iran and its relations with the outside world ... [Axworthy's] perspective is far more persuasive, and interesting, than the neocon line that has dominated the Iran debate

    Independent