Pages: 272
Series: Beginner's Guides
Imprint: Oneworld


A Beginner's Guide

Homa Katouzian

World-renowned Iranian expert presents the first comprehensive introduction to one of the world's most controversial and misunderstood countries
9781780742724 (6 Jun 2013)
RRP £9.99 / US$14.95

The Book

Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been locked in conflict with the United States and Europe. Personified in the West by a series of bogeymen from Ayatollah Khomeini to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this villainous mask obscures a far more complex identity, forged by a vibrant and chaotic history.


Revealing the country’s true face, acclaimed expert Homa Katouzian delves deep into Iran’s past, exploring how an ancient civilization at a crossroads of diverse dynasties and religions grew to become an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally rich nation. Centuries of arbitrary rule and revolution – from the first Persian empires to the Green Movement – are brought to life as Katouzian offers fresh insight into this fascinating country. Asking where its future may lie post–Arab Spring, this is the perfect primer for understanding a country characterized by constant flux and controversy.

Additional Information

Series Beginner's Guides
Pages 272
Imprint Oneworld


About the Author

Homa Katouzian is Research Fellow at the Iran Heritage Foundation at St Antony’s College, and the Oriental Institute, University of Oxford. He is the author of The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval And Modern Iran and Iran: Politics, History And Literature, and editorof the journal Iranian Studies.


“Drawing on the author’s encyclopedic knowledge of Iran’s history, politics, economy, and culture, Homa Katouzian’s Iran: A Beginner’s Guide is the most lucid, engaging, and authoritative introduction to the study of Iran available in any language today.”

- Ali Banuazizi - Professor of Political Science and Director, Program in Islamic Civilization & Socie

 “An excellent historical introduction to Iranian politics and political culture from ancient Persia to the contemporary Islamic Republic. It is a must-read book for beginners and an exemplary textbook for undergraduate courses.”

- Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi - Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the Univ


“A must read for those who want to know Iran really well. Short, lucid, and highly informative, it could only have been written by a doyen of Iranian Studies.”

- Fariba Adelkhah - author of Being Modern in Iran and Director of Research at SciencesPo/CERI

“Homa Katouzian’s book offers a comprehensive overview of Iran’s history.  He sheds light on the most complex aspects of Iran’s social, political, and cultural history and yet does so in a concise and accessible way.”

- Nasrin Rahimieh - Maseeh Chair and Director of the Samuel Jordan Center for Persian Studies and Cult

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