book cover: iran

I realize, somewhat embarrassingly, that I know little about Iranian history. Maybe it’s not entirely my fault, though. Growing up with the post-revolution Iranian education system, we were taught a very specific narrative that left out a lot of the broader context and details.

I recently picked up Abbas Amanat’s “Iran: A Modern History” in an attempt to fill this gap. While very readable, I found it too dense for a first dive into the subject. Ali Ansari’s “Iran” on the hand was great for an overview of Iran’s modern history. This shorter book covers the history of Iran starting from the early 20th century. I particularly enjoyed the section on the Constitutional Revolution, but as the book neared more recent history, it seemed to rush, mentioning events without going into depth.

The book is the recent addition to the Polity Histories Series, a collection of pocket histories that explore the histories of various countries. I enjoyed the format and am considering reading the United Kingdom volume next.