Catalogue


Answering only to God : faith and freedom in twenty-fist-century Iran /
Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons.
edition
1st ed.
imprint
New York : Holt, 2003.
description
306 p.
ISBN
0805072993
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
added author
imprint
New York : Holt, 2003.
isbn
0805072993
general note
"A John Macrae book."
catalogue key
4782019
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Geneive Abdo reported from Islamic countries for The Guardian and The Economist for more than a decade. She writes on religion for the Chicago Tribune and serves as a commentator on NPR and the BBC Abdo was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University and a Guggenheim Fellow in 2001-2002. Jonathan Lyons was Reuters bureau chief in Tehran. Husband and wife, Lyons and Abdo were based in Iran until they were forced to flee in 2001
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2003-02-03:
From 1998 to 2001, when they were kicked out of Iran, Abdo (No God but God) and Lyons were the first American citizens to be allowed to work as journalists in the country since the 1979 Islamic revolution. This unprecedented access allowed the husband-and wife team to conduct the daily observations and hundreds of interviews that form the basis of this engrossing book of reportage. Focusing mainly on the society's elite-they were apparently unable to gain access to more people in the lower classes-the two are still able to develop a complex, nuanced view of Iran. They show how, even before the fall of the shah, those who called for democracy were outmaneuvered by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who merged hatred of the shah with a skillful understanding of Iran's Islamic tradition. The authors offer historical background on Khomeini and his rise to power, the electoral success of the current president, Mohammad Khatami, and other clerics and dissidents. They also shed light on the more recent challenges to the regime, most notably from the press and from students. For the past few years, many Western observers have seen Iran as a society torn between hard-line clerics and moderate reformers, pinning their hopes on Khatami. But as Abdo and Lyons show, Khatami himself has betrayed true reform, among other ways by making speeches critical of student protests. As a result, Abdo and Lyons conclude, it is unlikely Iran will move toward democracy any time soon. (Mar. 5) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Appeared in Library Journal on 2003-04-15:
In 1989, Iran took steps to expand the power of its presidency and eliminate the prime ministership. Today, the theocratic republic still struggles with the idea of democracy. The dichotomous nature of this struggle is well documented in this organized and easy-to-ready book by a husband and wife reporting team, the first journalists allowed to work in Iran since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. Their courageous reporting, featuring interviews with mostly high-profile citizens, offers us a rare insider view of Iran during its governmental transition. As two demonstrating students eloquently explained, "They [the hard liners] have the wrong mentality about the Islamic system, and we do plan to change this mentality and the idea of what an Islamic state should be. That way, people like you won't ask us [if] we are religious and if we are demonstrating because we are against Islam." Abdo and Lyons have a decade of experience in reporting on Islamic countries: she was a correspondent for the Guardian and the Economist, and he served as the bureau chief of an international news agency in Iran and Turkey. They have pushed the envelope with authorities on several occasions in their attempts to educate readers on the nature of Islam. This book's research value makes it ideal for academic libraries, while its readable style makes it an attractive choice for public libraries as well.-Ethan Pullman, GSPIA/Economics, Univ. of Pittsburgh (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Kirkus Reviews, December 2002
Booklist, February 2003
Publishers Weekly, February 2003
Library Journal, April 2003
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
Two seasoned scholar/journalists of the Islamic world focus on Iran--the modern age's first theocracy--to challenge the prevailing Western belief that the Islamic world is an undifferentiated mass of disaffected and dangerous fanatics. Photos.
Main Description
The story of the internal clash of Islam versus Islam in today's Iran Two seasoned scholar/journalists of the Islamic world focus on Iran-the modern age's first theocracy-to challenge the prevailing Western belief that the Islamic world is an undifferentiated mass of disaffected and dangerous fanatics. Instead, Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons explore the controversial view that Iranians have a legitimate quarrel with the United States and the West stemming from decades of exploitive foreign policies against Iran and its people. Taking the reader inside the country's key institutions, the authors, whose research includes an astounding three years of intensive meetings with leading theologians, argue that the 1979 Iranian revolution, long viewed in the West as the pursuit of an imagined medieval Utopia, was, in fact, a political movement designed to modernize Islam. A power struggle between conservative and reform elements has provoked a clash that is destabilizing the country and limiting Iran's ability to integrate with the world community. Since 2000, when the authors were forced to flee Iran, free expression has been stifled and the democratically elected president, Mohammad Khatami, has been stripped of power, as have other mullahs who advocate flexibility in the application of Islamic law. The uninformed U.S. response to this struggle has strengthened the hand of the conservatives. The authors demonstrate Iran's critical influence on the world's 1.4 billion Muslims and Islamists and its chances for democracy in the years ahead.
Main Description
The story of the internal clash of Islam versus Islam in today's IranTwo seasoned scholar/journalists of the Islamic world focus on Iran-the modern age's first theocracy-to challenge the prevailing Western belief that the Islamic world is an undifferentiated mass of disaffected and dangerous fanatics. Instead, Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons explore the controversial view that Iranians have a legitimate quarrel with the United States and the West stemming from decades of exploitive foreign policies against Iran and its people. Taking the reader inside the country's key institutions, the authors, whose research includes an astounding three years of intensive meetings with leading theologians, argue that the 1979 Iranian revolution, long viewed in the West as the pursuit of an imagined medieval Utopia, was, in fact, a political movement designed to modernize Islam. A power struggle between conservative and reform elements has provoked a clash that is destabilizing the country and limiting Iran's ability to integrate with the world community. Since 2000, when the authors were forced to flee Iran, free expression has been stifled and the democratically elected president, Mohammad Khatami, has been stripped of power, as have other mullahs who advocate flexibility in the application of Islamic law. The uninformed U.S. response to this struggle has strengthened the hand of the conservatives. The authors demonstrate Iran's critical influence on the world's 1.4 billion Muslims and Islamists and its chances for democracy in the years ahead.
Table of Contents
Note to the Readerp. ix
Islam versus Islamp. 1
The World of the Clericsp. 19
The Man from Yazdp. 56
The Shadow of Godp. 90
Reinventing the Islamic Republicp. 123
The Press Revolutionp. 151
The Next Generationp. 196
Every Day Is Ashurap. 231
Blood and Tulipsp. 258
Notesp. 277
Principal Charactersp. 283
Selected Glossaryp. 286
Selected Bibliographyp. 289
Acknowledgmentsp. 294
Indexp. 297
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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