The Persians: Ancient, Medieval and Modern Iran by Homa Katouzian; Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King who Became an Iranian Legend by David Blow - review by Hazhir Teimourian

Hazhir Teimourian

A Tale of Two Peoples

The Persians: Ancient, Medieval and Modern Iran

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Yale University Press 442pp £30 order from our bookshop

Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King who Became an Iranian Legend

By

I B Tauris 278pp £14.99 order from our bookshop
 

The recent scenes on television of two types of Iranians clashing on the streets of Tehran have puzzled many. One type – those who protested against the blatantly rigged presidential election – appeared modern and demanded to be allowed to be part of the world as it is today. The other, the supporters of the clerics in power, had a medieval air about them. Each burned with hatred of the other.

Having known both for a long time and having spoken to some of the protesters recently, I can vouch that the differences go far beyond whom they want to form the next government of the Islamic ‘Republic’. They are two separate nations, inhabiting opposing universes. One might loosely

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