Repression in the cradle of civilisation

Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic by Michael Axworthy. Allen Lane, €31.50. Reviewed by Kevin Power.

24th February, 2013
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: struggling against a growing generation of young Iranians who find western ideas increasingly seductive. Photo: Getty

Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic by Michael Axworthy

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It is safe to say that Iran - ancient, contradictory, historically beleaguered - remains something of a mystery to the West. Michael Axworthy, in his lively account of the country's Islamic Revolution of 1979, observes that "Iran is less a country than a continent, more a civilisation than a nation", and his pages duly broaden to encompass the scope of Iran's complexities.

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