The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran

The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran❮Download❯ ➻ The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran Author Homayon Katouzian – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk In recent years Iran has gained attention mostly for negative reasons—its authoritarian religious government disputed nuclear program and controversial role in the Middle East—but there is much to In recent years Iran has gained attention Ancient, Mediaeval eBook ¸ mostly for negative reasons—its authoritarian religious government disputed nuclear program and controversial role in the Middle East—but there is much to the story of this ancient land than can be gleaned from the news This authoritative and comprehensive history of Iran written by Homa Katouzian an acclaimed expert covers The Persians: PDF/EPUB ² the entire history of the area from the ancient Persian Empire to today’s Iranian stateWriting from an Iranian rather than a European perspective Katouzian integrates the significant cultural and literary history of Iran with its political and social history Some of the greatest poets of human history wrote in Persian—among them Rumi Omar Khayyam and Saadi—and Katouzian Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval PDF ✓ discusses and occasionally uotes their work In his thoughtful analysis of Iranian society Katouzian argues that the absolute and arbitrary power traditionally enjoyed by PersianIranian rulers has resulted in an unstable society where fear and short term thinking dominate A magisterial history this book also serves as an excellent background to the role of Iran in the Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Epub / contemporary world. 14 chapters in search of an editorTo connect a serious book of Persian history to modern Chinese science fiction might seem like putting octopus with chocolate ice cream but my mind admittedly rotted out by too much MAD magazine in my wasted youth kept drifting in that direction as I read THE PERSIANS The author’s main theme reiterated often is that Iran’s history is one in which arbitrary rulers are continually opposed by society If out of chaos a strong man ascended to power then people accepted him as being “the chosen one” but his arbitrary rule without any legal structure could always be undermined When the current arbitrary ruler died or was toppled there would be a chaotic period as successors fought among themselves for the top position Apt or not this definitely reminded me of Liu Cixin’s “Three Body Problem” in which a planet affected by two suns went through Chaotic Periods and Stable Periods IranPersia went through this pattern of instability for a couple of thousand years There was no feudal period argues Katouzian because rulers could and did confiscate any and all property at any time kill or exile the erstwhile owners As a result very few properties could be passed from one generation to the next This applied to the monarchy as well the first six or seven chapters read like a list of family murders and blindings of brothers uncles and sons These are chaotic periods for you the reader as well because it is nigh impossible to keep track of all the characters most of whom appear on only one page It was he says a “short term society” echoing unknowingly the Chinese novel again OK if you are someone who plans to study Persian history in detail all this might be useful to some degree but for a serious reader not to mention a casual reader all this is way too much It is like a litany of royal changes revolts battles and invasions by various peoples with occasional mentions of poetry or painting tacked on at the end of each chapter An editor was sorely needed Arbitrary rule continued right up to the 20th century until an early revolution attempted to bring in some legal framework in 1905 06 The result of centuries of such rule was the author says that society in Iran always opposed the ruler Each “side” tried to rule exclusively The rise of Reza Shah Pahlavi who gained the throne in 1926 ended a Chaotic Period and ushered in a Stable one but soon society opposed his arbitrary rule His son Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi kept on his throne thanks to British and American direct interference became and arbitrary and was toppled as we all know by a giant popular movement led by the Ayatollah Khomeini Once he ascended to power by nearly universal acclaim he had to crush various factions which fought among themselves as well Whether the government of the Islamic Republic will be eventually repudiated by the Iranian people remains to be seen but there are signs of unrest Their willingness to mow down demonstrators their history of executions and driving people into exile certainly echoes earlier periods in Persian history In short the author says “The Iranian example is stark evidence against Eurocentric universalist theories of history” p325 He tries to show repeatedly how in the West one class lower overthrew the regime of another upper but in Iran the whole society overthrew arbitrary rule and its enforcing agencies The chapters on the 20th and early 21st centuries are far readable but still I felt a stricter editor would have pared down the mass of details The large number of misspellings evidence the missing editor as well as the mix of transcription styles—Farsi Arabic and English In short you can definitely learn something from THE PERSIANS if you are persistent enough but it’s a tough trot Come let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings It'll take a while because there's been a lot of themThe Persians Ancient Mediaeval and Modern Iran is a sweeping political history of Persia and of the modern Islamic Republic of Iran The author uotes a Persian proverb which asks six months from now who alive? Who dead? and argues that Persian history is established proof of the thin line between arbitrary authority and chaos While technically a survey its density and focus on a list of rulers rather than the general trends within Persian history makes it a formidable challenge to the beginning studentThe Persians is largely modern reaching the 20th century in less than two hundred pages What follows beforehand is essentially a long list of men killing men It’s nearly biblical – just replace “begat” with “who was killed by” and you’ll get an idea Oh there’s some variety; sometimes the potentates settle for blinding one another instead of killing which does get passé and some Turkic and Mongolian fellows are offed too Although Persia looms in the background of western history invading Greece and lopping off Roman consuls’ heads even marching on Jerusalem those episodes of strength seem to be the exception rather than the rule The tediously recorded butchery may actually be intentional for the author’s main contention is that arbitrary tyrants have been the norm of Persian history and that not until the 20th century has any work been put into creating a state beyond the will of one man in forming a civil society that checks the ambitions of a solitary tyrantEven once the text moves to the 20th century and becomes fulsomely detailed and varied it’s still a little odd in what it dwells on The author mentions for instance that the 1953 coup has been studied in detail and sohe bypasses it If you didn't know that coup was executed by Britain and America to shore up their client king’s absolute authority over the the Iranian people too bad If you're in the dark you're staying there because one minute Mossadegh is in power and the next he's in prison Trends within Iran which bear significant fruit like the development of the Shiite clergy are barely present or are like the poetry buried under the mounds of executed kingsThat's not to say there isn't material of interest in here I didn't realize that Alexander the Great is actually claimed by the Persians as one of their own a half Persian lord who appears in the Shahnameh a massive work of legendary history The Great War and World War 2 take on a different light from Iranian eyes because Britain and Russia spent the late 19th and early 20th century playing tug of war with an increasingly frayed Iran Iranians admired and sympathized with the Germans in both conflicts The closer the author draws toward the present day the communicative he is about Iranian culture in general in the final hundred pages there is a good section on the evolving role of women in Iranian society which while not as good during the Shah's forced modernization is not as bad as it was in the early 1980s While there's no shortage of useful information to be mined here beginners should probably look for something less mountainous and less dryRelatedIran and the United States Hossein MousavianhttpthisweekatthelibraryblogspotThe War of the Three Gods Romans Persians and the Rise of Islam Peter Crawfordhttpthisweekatthelibraryblogspot This is a sharply argued briskly paced history which covers a few millennia with a frustrated tone that somehow manages weary resignation imbued with passionate love of country and a solid dose of pride that defies his attempts to suelch it with disapproval Most historians have personality in their writing and Katouzian's is definitely grumpy old man His central thesis that Persians have always defaulted to absolutist one man rule gender specificity intended runs through the book making the whole history feel at times like a very very long example given mid rant at a dinner partyThe tone is set at the beginning when Katouzian explains his aversion to both Iran and Farsi as terms arguing both sever the modern country from its extensive history and influence over the West His frustration is expressed through scholarly concerns for how change over time can be lost by terms which don't embrace a full history It is also worth noting that Kartouzian's definition of Persia firmly includes Greater Khorasan stretching through modern day Northern Afghanistan Turkmenistan and southern Uzbekistan He has little time for modern conventions he views as counterproductive to knowledgeAnd the book is good Katouzian covers major developments thoroughly and takes the time to discuss both dynasties as a whole and the features of individual rulerships within itAs is the case with almost every history I have read of this region he gives his viewpoint on some of the bigger debates with little regard to explaining other points of view This is especially true around his dating of Zorastrianism a phenomenon he dates much later than others later indeed than even the early Achaemenids leading to a somewhat different definition of the religion itself He also claims a predominantly GnosticManicheanBuddhist origin for Sufi Islam which is intriguing and not entirely conventionalMore than half the book is set in the modern era where Katouzian gives references to other scholarship and engages with various modes It is still an excellent overview of events and while Katouzian tends to emphasise PersianIranian historical tendencies over foreign intervention as drivers of the various revolutionsoverhauls of the 20th century This is less to excuse the BritishAmericanRussian interventions as it is to reassert the agency of a culture which has survived foreign occupations than perhaps any other It was an interesting perspective and one I know I will reflect on as I read some on this topicI would highly recommend this as a one volume history of Persia although I would suggest breaking such an immense history into manageable chunks for most readers Reviewing the history of Iran since the beginning of the first Persian Empire till the events leading to the Green Movement in 2009 Dr Katouzian provides an analysis of the characteristics of the Iranian society history and myths during the pre and post Islamic era A central argument of the book the one I found extremely enlightening and important is related to the persistence of state society conflict due in part to existence of arbitrary states and the isolation of ruling class from any one social class Many other key issues such as the Iranian mentality and its fascination with conspiracy theory are also discussed in some length This is indeed a must read book I only wish Dr Katouzian had allocated pages to the history and analysis of the Iranian women’s “movements” throughout our history Ended up being pretty awesome very good stuff on later 20th century Iranian history The earlier stuff is thorough but feels a little perfunctory at times I think I'll try and read something detailed on the Safavid period later A real strength is his economic analysis his original academic specialty and his illustration of the complex political workings of the current system His emphasis is on the exceptional nature of Iranian politics and society throughout history and he makes a convincing case for this emphasizing the ability of successful Iranian leaders to exercise their authority on a completely arbitrary way The subtleties of the current system are fascinating how the religious establishment embraces a giant spectrum of positions on how to foster an 'Islamist' society and how conflicts between these positions play out through the system It is an elouent and easy to read history text suitable for those who want to get a sense of the socio political history of Iran but definitely not a thorough book I read it as a reuired textbook for an Iranian Literature course and really enjoyed it as a start point to better understand the contexts upon which the novels such as The Blind Owl was written Though in my point of view the book was not convincing enough His claims lacked references in some parts and needed pieces of evidence Unfortunately I did not finish all the chapters mostly read those about the years prior to Reza Khan and hopefully will finish the last chapters in the near future A drab political history You will walk away knowing about numerous invasions and deceits but nothing about life geography economics literature art etc More of a textbook than a yarn it's a little hard to stay interested in the long list of fraticidal kings in the first chunk Flows better in the later parts with some nice details There's a decent through line about the Persian tendency to stubborn short termism and the persistance of arbitrary rule that just about holds water Pretty incredible Come for the non Westerner's view of history ancient Media Cyrus Darius Xerxes up through the craziness that went down during the Cold War and as recent as Ahmadinejad stay for the compelling narrative of a people whose who society and culture are built upon a startlingly different mythos Philosophically basic assumptions mean a whole heck of a lot in the long run The Shahnameh is not the Pentateuch A nice overview of Persian history Of course Katouzian could not spend much time on any one time period but he highlights important themes in history nonetheless Katouzian naturally is putting forth much of his previous theories on absolute kingship throughout his telling of Persian history

The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran ePUB
  • Paperback
  • 448 pages
  • The Persians: Ancient, Mediaeval and Modern Iran
  • Homayon Katouzian
  • English
  • 05 June 2016
  • 9780300169324