Greater Iran: A 20th-century Odyssey

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Mazda, 2005 - History - 368 pages
"These memoirs of a founder of Middle Eastern studies at U.S. institutions reveal more than the events of a life spent in intimate contact with many peoples of Eurasia. Although mainly concerned with "Greater Iran" (Iran/Persia, Afghanistan and Tajikistan), Richard Nelson Frye, Aga Khan professor of Iranian emeritus at Harvard University, describes changes which he witnessed there and elsewhere, making observations that are timely to understanding present-day relationships in the region. One of the first Western scholars to visit Central Asia after the death of Joseph Stalin, his knowledge of many languages enabled Frye to report on conditions in that hitherto little known region. In the course of subsequent trips to the USSR, the friendships he formed gave him unique insights about Soviet intellectuals concerned with the greater Iranian world. Life in Afghanistan and Persia (Iran) before the great changes that have transformed the area since the 1970s form a major part of this book. A much traveled Orientalist of the "old school," Frye's interaction with Dr. Mohammad Mossadegh, Sadruddin Aga Khan, Bobojon Gafurov, Fikri Seljuki, Roman Ghirshman, Henry Corbin, as well as Nathan Pusey of Harvard, and various shapers of US policy toward Iran and Iranian Studies, are especially noteworthy. Personal matters are not forgotten, since some readers will wish to know how a boy from a small Midwestern town became so enamored with Iran and Central Asia that he devoted his life to investigating and explaining their history and cultures. These memoirs are not only a record of the past, but also of recent visits to old haunts that have evoked comments about the future of the Middle East and Central Asia."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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