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Best Iran Books Everyone Should Read

There are countless Iran courses, tutorials, articles available online, but for some, having a book is still a necessity to learn. This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic (2016)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadIn Revolutionary Iran, Michael Axworthy guides us through recent Iranian history from shortly before the 1979 Islamic revolution through the summer of 2009, when Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran by the hundreds of thousands, demanding free, democratic government. Axworthy explains how that outpouring of support for an end to tyranny in Iran paused and then moved on to other areas in the region like Egypt and Libya, leaving Iran’s leadership unchanged.The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a defining moment of the modern era. Its success unleashed a wave of…
Author(s): Michael Axworthy

2. A History of Modern Iran (2018)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadIn a radical reappraisal of Iran’s modern history, Ervand Abrahamian traces the country’s traumatic journey from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, through the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of the Pahlavis, and the birth of the Islamic Republic. The first edition was named the Choice Outstanding Academic Title in 2009. This second edition brings the narrative up to date, with the Green uprisings of 2009, the second Ahmadinejad administration, the election of Rouhani, and the Iran nuclear deal. Ervand Abrahamian,…
Author(s): Ervand Abrahamian

3. Lonely Planet Iran (Travel Guide) (2017)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should Readis your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Hike among the Castles of the Assassins in Alamut Valley, Lose yourself in Esfahan’s historic bazaar, or ski in the Alborz Mountains; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of Iran and begin your journey now! our most comprehensive guide to Iran, is perfect for both exploring top sights and taking roads less travelled. Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out guide. Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world’s leading travel media company with guidebooks to every…
Author(s): Lonely Planet , Simon Richmond, et al.

4. A History of Iran: Empire of the Mind (2016)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadIran is a land of contradictions. It is an Islamic republic, but one in which only 1.4 percent of the population attend Friday prayers. Iran’s religious culture encompasses the most censorious and dogmatic Shi’a Muslim clerics in the world, yet its poetry insistently dwells on the joys of life: wine, beauty, sex. Iranian women are subject to one of the most restrictive dress codes in the Islamic world, but make up nearly 60 percent of the student population of the nation’s universities. In A History of Iran, acclaimed historian Michael Axworthy…
Author(s): Michael Axworthy

5. The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran (2013)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadFor the past three decades, the United States and Iran have been engaged in an unacknowledged secret war. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations to the brink of open warfare. Drawing upon unparalleled access to senior officials and key documents of several U.S. administrations, David Crist, a senior historian in the federal government, breaks new ground on virtually every page of The Twilight War. From the Iranian Revolution to secret negotiations between Iran and the United…
Author(s): David Crist

6. Iran: A Modern History (2019)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadThis history of modern Iran is not a survey in the conventional sense but an ambitious exploration of the story of a nation. It offers a revealing look at how events, people, and institutions are shaped by currents that sometimes reach back hundreds of years. The book covers the complex history of the diverse societies and economies of Iran against the background of dynastic changes, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and the rise of the Islamic Republic.   Abbas Amanat combines chronological and thematic approaches, exploring events with lasting…
Author(s): Abbas Amanat

7. Captive in Iran: A Remarkable True Story of Hope and Triumph amid the Horror of Tehran’s Brutal Evin Prison (2014)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadMaryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh knew they were putting their lives on the line. Islamic laws in Iran forbade them from sharing their Christian beliefs, but in three years, they’d covertly put New Testaments into the hands of twenty thousand of their countrymen and started two secret house churches.In 2009, they were finally arrested and held in the notorious Evin Prison in Tehran, a place where inmates are routinely tortured and executions are commonplace. In the face of ruthless interrogations, persecution, and a death sentence, Maryam and Marziyeh chose to take the radical―and dangerous―step of sharing their faith…
Author(s): Maryam Rostampour, Marziyeh Amirizadeh, et al.

8. Understanding Iran (2011)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadWilliam R. Polk provides an informative, readable history of a country which is moving quickly toward becoming the dominant power and culture of the Middle East. A former member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Council, Polk describes a country and a history misunderstood by many in the West. While Iranians chafe under the yolk of their current leaders, they also have bitter memories of generations of British, Russian and American espionage, invasion, and dominance. There are important lessons to be learned from the past, and Polk teases them out of a long…
Author(s): WILLIAM R. POLK

9. Iran: Make Love not War: A Maverick Iranian Way (2019)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadIran is completely different to the cartoon-like image portrayed in the West, of a land of religious fanatics chanting Death to America. In reality it’s a fabulous ancient civilisation and a country that’s full of intelligent young people. This book, Iran: Make Love not War is an impression of Iran, gleaned from a three-week visit in 2018. I visited Tabriz, Teheran, Isfahan, Shiraz, the ancient capital of Persepolis, royal graves and the desert city of Yazd. I saw smugglers and prostitutes whose practice was sanctioned as a temporary marriage by clerics; the most…
Author(s): Mary Jane Walker

10. Inside Iran: The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran (2018)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadIn 1979, the Iranian Revolution brought a full-scale theocracy to the 80 million inhabitants of the Middle East’s second largest country, with. The rule of the ayatollahs opened the door to Islamic fundamentalism. In the decades since, bitter relations have persisted between the U.S. and Iran. Yet how is it that Iran has become the primary target of American antagonism over nations like Saudi Arabia, whose appalling human rights violations fail to depose it as one of America’s closest allies in the Middle East? In the first general-audience book on the subject, Medea Benjamin elucidates the mystery behind this complex…
Author(s): Medea Benjamin

11. Persian of Iran Today, Volume 1 (Persian Edition) (2013)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadPersian of Iran Today: Volume 1 is the first of two introductory Persian language textbooks by Anousha Shahsavari and Blake Atwood. Its innovative multimedia curriculum draws on the latest trends in language pedagogy and interweaves grammar- and vocabulary-building exercises with narrative elements in order to engage and develop students’ abilities in Persian. Persian of Iran Today is a proficiency-based resource that gives equal weight to the development of reading, writing, listening, and speaking, and encourages students to use and create with the language from the…
Author(s): Anousha Shahsavari, Blake Atwood

12. Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic (Stanford Studies in Middle Eastern and Islamic Societies and Cultures) (2019)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadMore than half of Iran’s citizens were not alive at the time of the 1979 Revolution. Now entering its fifth decade in power, the Iranian regime faces the paradox of any successful revolution: how to transmit the commitments of its political project to the next generation. New media ventures supported by the Islamic Republic attempt to win the hearts and minds of younger Iranians. Yet members of this new generation—whether dissidents or fundamentalists—are increasingly skeptical of these efforts. Iran Reframed offers unprecedented access to those who wield power in Iran as they…
Author(s): Narges Bajoghli

13. Iran Awakening: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Life and Country (2007)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should Read•  Best known in this country as the lawyer working tirelessly on behalf of Canadian photojournalist, Zara Kazemi—raped, tortured and murdered in Iran—Dr. Ebadi offers us a vivid picture of the struggles of one woman against the system. The book movingly chronicles her childhood in a loving, untraditional family, her upbringing before the Revolution in 1979 that toppled the Shah, her marriage and her religious faith, as well as her life as a mother and lawyer battling an oppressive regime in the courts while bringing up her…
Author(s): Shirin Ebadi, Azadeh Moaveni

14. Iran: What Everyone Needs to Know® (2017)

Best Iran Books Everyone Should ReadSince the beginning of recorded history, Iran/Persia has been one of the most important world civilizations. Iran remains a distinct civilization today despite its status as a major Islamic state with broad regional influence and its deep integration into the global economy through its vast energy reserves. Yet the close attention paid to Iran in recent decades stems from the impact of the 1979 revolution, which unleashed ideological shock waves throughout the Middle East that reverberate to this day. Many observers look at Iran through the prism of the Islamic…
Author(s): Michael Axworthy

Best Iran Books Everyone Should Read

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Genesis and download some iran books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

The Forgotten Years of Kurdish Nationalism in Iran

Author(s): Abbas Vali
Publisher: Springer International Publishing; Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2407873

Iran’s Foreign Policy After the Nuclear Agreement

Author(s): Farhad Rezaei
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 4 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2250882

The Dynamics of Iranian Borders

Author(s): Mansoureh Ebrahimi, Masoumeh Rad Goudarzi, Kamaruzaman Yusoff
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 2 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2251550

The Shah of Iran, the Iraqi Kurds, and the Lebanese Shia

Author(s): Arash Reisinezhad
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2251576

The Iranian Reform Movement

Author(s): Majid Mohammadi
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2251787

Territorial Water Cooperation in the Central Plateau of Iran

Author(s): Majid Labbaf Khaneiki
Publisher: Springer International Publishing, Year: 2019, Size: 6 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2309763

Marxism and Left-Wing Politics in Europe and Iran

Author(s): Yadullah Shahibzadeh
Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2019, Size: 3 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2310912

Iranian Cosmopolitanism: A Cinematic History

Author(s): Golbarg Rekabtalaei
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, Year: 2019, Size: 25 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 2324158

Please note that this booklist is not final. Some books are truly best-sellers according to The Wall Street Journal, others are drafted by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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