Given the recent news cycle, we would like to highlight four fantastic, timely books about Iran published under our Potomac Books imprint. If you want to educate yourself and gain a new perspective, these are the titles for you.
Potomac Books About Iran
We know the current political narrative: Iran is dangerous, full of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. But Christopher Thornton here tells a different story: one of good food, liberal-minded people, beautiful architecture, and a country with a history spanning over seven thousand years that’s been influenced not only by the myriad cultures spanning Central Asia but also by Europe and the West. Descendants of Cyrus introduces readers to ordinary Iranians living lives far different from what is shown on Western television. Thornton takes us through the cities of Iran, where he encounters robust, barely hidden black markets filled with American movies and music; sees the women of Shiraz explore modern fashion and beauty products with no fear of reprisal from a weakened regime; and meets the students populating the university town of Hamadan, where a generation of activists is finding its voice.
Steven O’Hern’s definitive history of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard lays out in chilling detail the blatant acts of terrorism perpetrated with impunity by this group worldwide over three decades. This book is especially timely considering Iran is on the cusp of attaining nuclear weapons and because the ideology-driven IRGC will be the organization to use them. It is an impressive work that highlights the need for America to wake up before it’s too late.
From Miniskirt to Hijab is the best book yet to explain the contrast of life under the rule of the Shah versus that of the Ayatollahs. Saper is uniquely able to articulate the underlying dynamic of Iran’s sudden rejection of a Western culture that was idealized for years before 1979. This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the causes of turmoil in one of the most volatile regions of the world.
Yaakov Katz and Yoaz Hendel
The shadow war between Israel and Iran has been raging for more than three decades, ever since the Iranian revolution of 1979 ushered in a fundamentalist regime whose sworn enemies have consistently included, first and foremost, Israel and the United States. Israel, especially, has borne the brunt of attacks from Iran’s two most powerful proxies—Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Iran’s nuclear ambitions raise the stakes immeasurably. Israel vs. Iran evaluates the threat to Israel’s security posed by a nuclear Iran, including competing perceptions of the threat, and analyzes Israel’s military and diplomatic options.