In Other Words

The Early Read: On Iran

With a contentious presidential election around the corner, a nuclear standoff looming, and a new U.S. diplomatic track to navigate, Iran is poised to dominate international headlines this spring. A slew of new tomes helps Western readers unlock the Persian puzzle.

Iranophobia: The Logic of an Israeli Obsession
By Haggai Ram (May, Stanford University Press)

In his new book, Israeli scholar Haggai Ram psychoanalyzes Israel’s "obsession" with and fear of Iran. He argues controversially that Israel’s Iran phobia could simply be a projected anxiety over domestic threats, and that the conflict need not be as polarizing as it is.

Immortal: A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces
By Steven R. Ward (March, Georgetown University Press)

CIA analyst Steven R. Ward traces the long legacy of Iran’s elite military forces. Beginning with ancient Persia’s feared corps, known as the "Immortals," and continuing through today’s Revolutionary Guard, Ward offers a panoramic view of Iranian military history — and explains how Iran could still use its geography against its enemies.

Khomeini’s Ghost: The Iranian Revolution and the Rise of Militant Islam
By Con Coughlin (February, HarperCollins)

In this biography of Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, reporter Con Coughlin weaves the story of how one student became the leading purveyor of the radical Islam that still rules Iran and, as Coughlin argues, remains the leading cause behind so many global security challenges.

Honeymoon in Tehran: Two Years of Love and Danger in Iran
By Azadeh Moaveni (February, Random House)

Time reporter Azadeh Moaveni was building a personal life in Tehran — marrying an Iranian and having a baby — just around the time Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was elected president. As Tehran became embroiled in tensions with the West, so too did life in Moaveni’s new home.

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