On the 40th anniversary of the revolution in Iran, how much do you know about the country and its people?

According to the Wikipedia page on the Iran revolution, it took place between 7 January 1978 – 11 February 1979, so today marks the 40th anniversary of this enormously important event, but few people know much about this large and important nation.

Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilisations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. Michael Axworthy – a lecturer at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter – has done a marvellous job in providing an erudite but readable history “from Zoroaster to the present day” in just 300 pages and you can read my review of his book here.

Coin Coughlin is the executive foreign editor of the “Daily Telegraph” and has previously written a biography of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In a work of 360 pages, he examines the last century of the history of neighbouring Iran through the prism of the life of the Ayatollah Khomeini, arch enemy to Hussein. This a readable and informative examination of one of the greatest revolutions in world history whose consequences still shape global politics and threaten world peace. You can read my review here.

I actually visited Iran 10 years ago , shortly after the last major protest movement against the regime, and you can read the account of my trip here.


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