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The Ayatollahs' Democracy

An Iranian Challenge

Hooman Majd (Author)


"One of America's most astute revealers of Iranian culture and identity."-Reza Aslan, The Atlantic

Hailed as one of the year's best foreign policy books, Hooman Majd's latest offers dramatic perspective on a country with global ambitions, an elaborate political culture, and policies with enormous implications for world peace. Drawing on privileged access to the Iranian power elite, Majd "gives a harrowing description of the aftermath of the 2009 presidential elections in Iran" (Haleh Esfandiari). This "nimble take on Iran's fraught political landscape" (Kirkus Reviews) "sounds a dire warning to those in the West who want a democratic Iran. . . . Let us hope the President is listening" (Reza Aslan, The Atlantic).

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2011
  • ISBN 978-0-393-34063-1
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 282 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide including Canada, Singapore and Malaysia, but excluding the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Its insights may startle Americans who think of Iran purely as a fundamentalist Islamic state.” — Time

“Like a nonfiction novel, going beyond hard facts to enter people's consciousness.” — Marc Tracy, The New York Times Book Review

“Regardless what you happen to think of Majd's political analysis (I happen to mostly agree with it), he has the most detailed and gripping reporting of the Iranian elections to date…. I encourage the White House to get a copy of Majd's book. And for Dish readers to pre-order it.” — Patrick Appel, The

“No writer knows more about modern Iran than Hooman Majd. Nor does any other commentator write more cogently, or more beautifully, about this complex and sometimes opaque culture. The Ayatollahs’ Democracy establishes Majd as the go-to guy for understanding Iran and Iranian politics.” — Reza Aslan, author of No god but God

“The first fifty pages of this book would make a Sundance-winning film, but the meat of the book explores, in vividly readable style, the evolving concept of Islamic democracy, the widespread support for nuclear power, and the historical pride and resistance to western intervention. A well-connected insider with the eye of a master psychologist, Majd gives us a nuanced, in-depth portrait of a country both far more sophisticated and far less rigid than western policymakers have yet appreciated.” — Lesley Hazleton, author of After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split

“Hooman Majd’s penetrating new book, The Ayatollahs’ Democracy, exposes Iran's innermost political machinations. Combining analytical agility, journalistic talent, the prose of a seasoned writer, Majd draws deft analogies between events in Iran and events in American history, and untangles the many factions and alliances that run Iran's enigmatic government. Best of all, Majd breaks down complex issues into understandable pieces, without sacrificing complexity. A must read.” — Firoozeh Dumas, author of Funny in Farsi and Laughing Without an Accent

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