In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran

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9780007113934: In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran

A superb, authoritatively written insider's account of one of the most mysterious but significant and powerful nations in the world: Iran. Few historians and journalists writing in English have been able to meaninfully examine post-revolutionary Iranian life. Years after his death, the shadow of Ayatollah Khomeini still looms over Shi'ite Islam and Iranian politics, the state of the nation fought over by conservatives and radicals. They are contending for the soul of a revolutionary Islamic government that terrified the Western establishment and took them to leadership of the Islamic world. But times have changed. Khomeini's death and the deficiencies of his successor, the intolerance and corruption that has made the regime increasingly authoritarian and cynical, frustration at Iran's economic isolation and the revolution's failure to deliver the just realm it promised has transformed the spirit of the country. In this superbly crafted and deeply thoughtful book Christopher de Bellaigue, who is married to an Iranian and has lived there for many years, gives us the voices and memories of this 'worn-out generation': be they traders or soldiers, film-makers or clerics, writers or taxi-drivers, gangsters or reformists. These are voices that are never heard, but whose lives and concerns are forging the future of one of the most secretive, misunderstood countries in the world. The result is a subtle yet intense revelation of the hearts and minds of the Iranian people.

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About the Author:

Christopher de Bellaigue was born in 1971. He studied at Cambridge and writes for Granta and the New York Review of Books. He is married and lives in Iran.

From Publishers Weekly:

This portrait of the Islamist revolution's heartland is far from the "axis of evil" caricature so often associated with the regime that held Americans hostage in 1979–1980 and is actively pursuing nuclear arms today. Rather, Ballaigue, who covers Iran for the Economist, presents a textured view of a complex society, struggling with an ancient culture, a radical ideology and a Westernized elite. Drawing inspiration from George Orwell, who chronicled the Catalonian revolution of the 1930s and its betrayal by Stalinists, Ballaiguecharts the Islamist revolution from its origins in the repressive regime of the Shah and the fiery sermons of the Ayatollah Khomeini, through its triumph and the taking of the hostages of the "Great Satan," the war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, the Iran-Contra scandal and the waning of the Islamist revolutionary fervor as educated Iranians became disillusioned with the mullahs and thirsted for greater cultural and intellectual freedom. The book is peppered with interviews with and vignettes of the many Iranians the author has met during his years in Iran; the title refers to a cemetery in Tehran where the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq war are interred—"rose garden" being an ironic rendition of rows of headstones. (On sale Jan. 4)
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Christopher De Bellaigue
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd (2004)
ISBN 10: 0007113935 ISBN 13: 9780007113934
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 7113935

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