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Book by Axworthy Michael


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 368 pages
  • Editeur : Basic Books; Édition : Reprint (16 février 2010)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 046501920X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465019205
  • Dimensions du produit: 15,6 x 2,4 x 23,5 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 129.116 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Couverture | Copyright | Table des matières | Extrait | Index | Quatrième de couverture
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0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par Pascal Pineau sur 4 mai 2010
Format: Relié
Quel livre et quel voyage !
La Perse est grandiose et terrible.
Mais, hélas, les XIXeme et XXeme siécles sont une longue suite d'échecs, de veuleries, de corruptions, de trahisons, etc...
Une explication à Khomeiny ?
On incline à le penser.
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Amazon.com: 36 commentaires
61 internautes sur 65 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Evenhanded, factual, brief and easy to read 24 mai 2008
Par Winston - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I thought this is going to be another typical book on history of Iran when I picked it up but I admit I was wrong. This book is fair, evenhanded and factual in dealing with the history of Iran. It's very brief and concise and in that context, Mr. Axworthy has done a good job explaining in simple language the history of a very complicated nation. It has little or no political agenda. It credits Iran/Persia with things it has done and more importantly it sheds light on some unknown and un-touched corners of the modern Iranian history such as the 1953 coup against PM Mossadegh and the ascend of Reza Shah the great to power in early 20th century. I'd recommend this book to the students of middle-eastern history and those interested in knowing more about Iran.
50 internautes sur 54 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Excellent Overview of Iranian History 2 juillet 2008
Par C. Sells - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
A plethora of recent books chronicle recent Iranian history (with a particular focus on 1953-today). This book discusses that period, but it does a lot more. The vast majority of the book deals with ancient Iranian history - including tales of epic Persian leaders (Xerxes, Darius) and the wars that shaped Iranian history (fighting against the Greeks, Romans, Arab Muslims, Afghans, Russians, and the British). If you want to know about ancient Iran, this is your book. It's very easy to read for a "history" book.

That said, if you are looking for real detail on more recent events, such as the 1953 Mossadeq coup, the 1979 Revolution, or today's affairs, I'd look elsewhere (Persian Puzzle is really good at narrating the recent events, as are focused books such as "All the Shah's Men" and "Ahmadinejad."

Having read a lot about recent Iranian history, I enjoyed the voyage into ancient history - but know the predominantly ancient focus before buying.

As noted, the author's style is easy to follow and enjoyable. He even tells a few jokes. The book is generally even-handed, though he did seem to soft-pedal British mistakes in the region (understandable given his nationality). My only beef with the author was his 20+ page expose on Iranian poetry. It comes from nowhere, and it was boring (though, admittedly, I am not a fan of poetry). The book is cruising along finely, all of a suddent takes a detour into poetry, and then corrects itself.

Overall, this is a great book and a must-read for someone interested in ancient Iranian history and the events/people that shaped a country sure to be in the news for a while.
35 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Empire of the mind 25 septembre 2009
Par Fathali Ghahremani - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
This book can be considered a starting point for any newcomer to Iranian history. It is, without a doubt, a major contribution to the popular history genre. While Iran/Persia is one of the great empires, Axworthy implies that it is also an empire of the mind, a virtual empire that transcends the western concept of the geopolitical state.

The book follows Iran's chronological history from pre-Achaemenid times to the present. It is well researched and has extensive footnotes and references allowing the reader to delve into details of any event or subject. Yet, it is eminently readable and has the tone of a lively and informative lecture rather than an erudite tome.

The book binds all the varied elements of Iranian culture (a multi-lingual, multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religion mélange of peoples) into a single story line. It provides a factual, but simplified, picture of a multiplicity of societies who consider themselves Iranian regardless of the proclivity of their present governments. The reader is forced to re-evaluate the common notions of Iran as a homogeneous entity and recognize it as a hodgepodge of different groups who are bound by a common belief in the uniqueness of their civilization, culture and history.

Perhaps the greatest contribution of the book is the portrayal of Iranian minorities. It is no small feat to trace their histories in the Iranian context. Yet, as Axworthy implies, it is their historical contributions and continued existence that make Iranian culture unique. It would be a sad day if any government forced uniformity on such a great and diverse culture.

The book does not cover everything (that would require an encyclopedia) but it misses some points. For instance, it discusses the Council of Guardians but does not cover another key element of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic - the Council of Experts. This is the Council that was responsible for appointing Ayatollah Khamenei as "supreme leader", a decision that involved considerable internal debate. Further, in theory, this Council can remove the supreme leader if it finds him unfit to rule. This is no small power considering the current turmoil Iran and is certainly worth mentioning.

As a final note there are a few misstatements in the book. For example, the Qajar dynasty was not removed by a constituent assembly. The Fourth Majlis, using a unique amendment, removed the Qajars and agreed to Reza Khan becoming Reza Shah.

However, in spite of such minor instances, the book is accurate, immensely readable and truly major contribution to Iranian history.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Excellent Introduction, From Pre-History to the Present 10 mars 2010
Par Suchos - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This short history covers over three thousand years of history of the Iranian people, and other groups that now inhabit the modern nation of Iran. Naturally, that means it is extremely short on detail. But for the reader who only wants an overview, or an introduction before a more serious study, I recommend this book.

Axworthy speads his focus evenly throughout the various phases of history (as opposed to breezing quickly through ancient empires to get us to the present). I agree with his decision to do so. Many Iranians have a sense of history that makes it necessary to have at least a passing understanding of Iran's pre-Islamic heritage in order to understand modern attitudes. I also believe that pre- and early-Islamic history are interesting in their own right. But for readers who are mainly interested in the modern world, this might not be the best book; Axworthy doesn't start discussing the Pahlavi period until page 221, and spends about 65 pages on the last 100 years. The only other caveat is that the narrative during the early-Islamic period is a little confused. The text on the Umayyad, Abbassid and Seljuk periods is not as clear as what comes before or after.

Regardless, the book is very well written overall. It is accessible to the casual reader. The several maps help create a coherent picture of the ever-shifting historical boundaries.

I recommend this book to anyone with an interest in Iran who has little or no background in the country, but it will be an easier read if you have some knowledge of Islamic history. I also recommend following this book up with something more detailed.
43 internautes sur 56 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Persian Bernand Lewis, he ain't 27 mai 2009
Par Joseph Somsel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Having lived through large waves of Iranian immigration into California the last 30+ years, I've had numerous friends and colleagues born in Iran. They have left me with a great respect for the Iranian civilization. However, this book explains too little of it.

Most of the book is a rapid run-through of ancient history. We get the names of dynasties and kings but little sense of what made them powerful or weak. Not much stuck in my mind of the retelling of the Mohammadian conquest. Would have liked a LOT more on the economics, religion, and geography of ancient Persia.

In more modern times, from early contact with the British Empire, the details are thicker but the ability to tie it into a comprehensible whole is still lacking.

For recent history, WWII through present day, the author's balance shifts to being almost pro-mullah. I do detect a definite sympathy to the Islamic Revolution. For example, I got the impression that the author considered the Shah's repressive violence to be much worst than the revolutionary mullahs' but I didn't come away with any good sense of how that could be proven. In other words, I'm unconvinced but the author seems to think of the Islamic Revolution as an improvement.

Unlike other reviewers, I would have to say that the poetry sections were the most enlightening parts of the book - and I'm no poetry fan. The excerpts gave insight into the Persian mind and soul that were completely lacking elsewhere in the book. I can sense this poetry in my Iranian friends.

Not a total waste of time and money but there have to be better books on Iran out there.
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