Ervand Abrahamian is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of ­History at Baruch and the author of numerous books, including A History of Modern Iran and The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern US-Iranian Relations. (June 2018)

IN THE REVIEW

The Enigma of Iranianism

A peasant kissing the feet of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi during a ceremony to distribute land deeds, Isfahan, 1962

Iran: A Modern History

by Abbas Amanat
For most Americans Iran is a riddle wrapped in a bundle of incomprehensible and highly inflammable contradictions. For decades, before the creation of the Islamic Republic in the late 1970s, Iran was admired in the US as an indispensable ally, a favored arms customer, and even a policeman in the …