April 7, 2009 by contributor
Persian Heritage #53, Spring 2009
Tales From The Zirzameen
Brian Hanson Appleton (Rasool Aryadust)
Dorrance Publishing Company copyright 2007
Tales from the Zirzameen reflects on Iranian culture and people as well as the American expatriate society there in the 1970s. The short stories relate how the author became assimilated there, including his acting in Iranian films, his conversion to Islam, and he shares his experiences leading up to and during the revolution and four months into its aftermath.
Despite the circumstances under which he left the country-including being taken hostage for a time-the author celebrates the hospitality and rich culture of the Iranian people. He was welcomed warmly into their society and came to appreciate the sincerity and kindness that characterized the people he met. It also celebrates the exceptional individuals who comprise the Iranian family which adopted him as one of their own and the depths of friendship and heroism of certain individuals during the revolution who put themselves at great risk in order to rescue him. It is hoped that placing the people of Iran in greater historical context might familiarize the American people with this ancient culture, showing the human faces that lie behind the current political propaganda. The objective is peace and recognition of our common humanity.
The men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979
2009 Syracuse University Press
Often in a book review one tends to swiftly turn the pages of the introduction to get to the meat of the volume. In this case it would be a loss not to read the brilliant introduction of Mr. Akbar Lari. His words and thoughts about Iran and its history easily lure you into the web of the pages that follow. His introduction sets the stage for the wealth of information contained within. He is well informed and this is reflected in his words and beautiful calender he created in 2009.
This book, in its two volumes contains an in depth look of those individuals who molded Iran’s history from 1941-1979. There are approximately 150 people discussed, some very well known while others a surprise. The author looks at their individual biographies and discusses how each contributed to Iran’s development. While there are those who will dispute the facts and individuals selected, one cannot minimize the wealth of information contained in the volumes.
Each volume is divided into separate sections covering politics, culture and the economics of Iran throughout the period making it easy to read, as well as an excellent resource for research. The information used in the book is a result of undeniable extensive research of archives, books, publications, interviews and private correspondence. The author , Mr. Milani tries to deliver an unbiased opinion of the individuals , but every now and then one can feel a statement to lead you into a specific way of thinking.