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.
About the Author
JOHN GHAZVINIAN was born in Iran and raised in London and Los Angeles. He has a doctorate in history from Oxford University and was the recipient of a Public Scholar fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2016-2017, as well as a fellowship from the Carnegie Corporation's special initiative on Islam in 2009-2010. 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.