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

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Harper Perennial, 2005 - Iran - 283 pages
2 Reviews

A superb, authoritatively written insider's account of Iran, one of the most mysterious but significant and powerful nations in the world.

Few historians and journalists writing in English have been able to meaningfully 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - theonearmedcrab - LibraryThing

Perhaps the best book I have read about Iran is “In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran” (2004), by Christopher de Bellaigue, a British journalist and author, who, by his own admission ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rocketjk - LibraryThing

This is a fascinating book, although I'd say it's much more history and reporting than it is memoir. But that's not really a complaint. I guess there's enough of a memoir component to justify the ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

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.

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