IT MAY SURPRISE readers to learn that this reviewer, who was born in the highlands of Iranian Kurdistan during the Blitz, has been associated with the British army all his life, though always remotely and with long interruptions. My small market town of Sahneh, on the ancient Royal Road between Persepolis and Sardis, was grateful to find itself in the British-occupied sector of Iran, rather than the Soviet part, and, to show that gratitude, my father regularly invited British officers to lunch.
Later on, of course, I found out that the presence of a British garrison near by had not been without its tensions. The soldiers had bought too much grain and prices had soared. But at least they had acted l a d y , and their presence had even helped