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Perceptions of Iran

History, Myths and Nationalism from Medieval Persia to the Islamic

Perceptions of Iran by Ali M. Ansari
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From the Sasanian to the Safavid Empire, and from Qajar Iran to the current Islamic Republic, the history of Iran is one which has been coloured by a rich tradition of myths and narratives and shaped by its wealth of philosophers, cultural theorists and political thinkers. Perceptions of Iran dissects the construction of Iranian identity, to reveal how nationalism has been continually re-formulated and how self-perceptions have been carried by Iran’s literary past, in particular the mystical love poetry of Rumi, Sa’adi and Hafez. It traces a long history of encounters with the Western world and tracks Iranian thought from Herodotus’ representation of Cyrus to the Constitutional Movement of the early twentieth century. This book ties together the diverse threads of Iranian intellectual activity that have underpinned social and political movements, spanning Kermani’s writing on ancient Persian history and liberal nationalism, through to the strident anti-Westernism of figures such as Sayed Jamal Al-Afghani and Ayatollah Khomeini.
I.B.Tauris; November 2013
256 pages; ISBN 9780857739353
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Title: Perceptions of Iran
Author: Ali M. Ansari