Shaul Bakhash is Robinson Professor of History at George Mason University and the author of The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution. (September 2005)


Letter from Evin Prison

The Iranian journalist Akbar Ganji was arrested in Tehran in April 2000 and, after a series of trials, was sentenced to six years in prison for his political writings, for allegedly spreading propaganda against the Islamic Republic, and for collecting confidential information harmful to national security. By now he has …

The Eyptian Gamble

Pan-Arabism Before Nasser: Egyptian Power Politics and the Palestine Question

by Michael Doran
Michael Doran’s book on the shaping of Egypt’s foreign policy concentrates on the brief but eventful four-year period between the end of World War II and the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. Yet the book, he notes, “is haunted by the specter of Gamal Abd al-Nasser.” For a decade and a …

Iran’s Unlikely President

Hope and Challenge: The Iranian President Speaks

by Mohammad Khatami, edited by Parviz Morewedge and Kent P. Jackson, translated by Alidad Mafinezam

Bim-e Mowj [Fear of the Wave]

by Mohammad Khatami
Mohammad Khatami became Iran’s new president in May 1997, winning a surprising victory over a more traditional candidate favored by the clerical establishment. Khatami attracted voters with a campaign in which he emphasized the need to strengthen the rule of law and the institutions of civil society, and to protect …

Letter from an Iranian Prisoner

INTRODUCTION Shaul Bakhash In a letter composed shortly before his arrest on January 27 by agents of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence, or state security, Faraj Sarkuhi, the Iranian writer and editor of the literary journal Adineh, writes: “I await imminent arrest or an incident whereby I will be murdered and …

Prisoners of the Ayatollah

From Palace to Prison: Inside the Iranian Revolution

by Ehsan Naraghi, translated by Nilon Mobasser

Death Plus Ten Years

by Roger Cooper
Ehsan Naraghi, an Iranian, and Roger Cooper, an Englishman, both served time in Khomeini’s prisons, Naraghi for nearly three years and Cooper for over five. Naraghi is a prominent intellectual and sociologist who has written widely on Iranian and third world social and cultural issues. Cooper lived and worked in …

Intimate Enemies

Islam and the West

by Bernard Lewis
Islam and Christianity, Bernard Lewis writes in his new book, have been called “sister religions,” because of their shared Judaic, Hellenistic, and Middle Eastern heritage. Yet throughout thirteen centuries they have most often been in combat. They were both “old acquaintances” and “intimate enemies, whose continuing conflict derived a special …

Secrets of the Shah’s Court

The Shah and I: The Confidential Diary of Iran's Royal Court, 1969-1977

by Asadollah Alam, introduced and edited by Alinaghi Alikhani, translated by Alinaghi Alikhani and Nicholas Vincent
In 1975 Asadollah Alam, the minister of the imperial court and an intimate of the Shah of Iran, noted in his diary that Iran was everywhere triumphant. Oil revenues were pouring in. The economy was booming. The Shah was firmly in control. The powerful industrial states, from Germany to Japan, …

In Search of the Arab Soul

A History of the Arab Peoples

by Albert Hourani
To write a history of the Arabs as distinct from that of the other peoples with whom their affairs have been inextricably entwined is no easy matter. Since the seventh century and the advent of Islam, when the Arabs emerged from the Arabian Peninsula to conquer an empire in the …