Along with the usual recommendations on history, sociology, and the economy, literature has also been suggested in this list. This is because Iranians are a deeply historical people, torn between their ancient Persian heritage and their more recent Islamic history. It is difficult to understand this fiercely proud people without understanding the twists and turns of their history. While Ferdowsi, Rumi, and Hafez may have faded from most people’s memory, Iranians to this day remember and quote their works fondly.

  1. Abisaab, Rula Jurdi. Converting Persia: Religion and Power in the Safavid Empire
  2. Abrahamian, Ervand. Iran Between Two Revolutions
  3. —. A History of Modern Iran
  4. Afkhami, Gholam Reza. The Life and Times of the Shah
  5. Alam, Asadollah. The Shah and I: The Confidential Diary of Iran’s Royal Court, 1968-77
  6. Algar, Hamid. Islam and Revolution: Writings and Declarations of Imam Khomeini (1941-1980)
  7. Allen, Lindsey. The Persian Empire
  8. Amighi, Janet Kestenberg. The Zoroastrians of Iran: Conversion, Assimilation, or Persistence
  9. Aminrazavi, Mehi. The Wine of Wisdom: THe Life, Poetry and Philosophy of Omar Khayyam
  10. Ansari, Ali. Modern Iran since 1921: The Pahlavis and After
  11. Arjomand, Said Amir. Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran
  12. Axworthy, Michael. The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant
  13. Baer, Robert. The Devil We Know: Dealing with the New Iranian Superpower
  14. Bellaigue, Christopher de. Patriot of Persia: Muhammad Mossadegh and a Tragic Anglo-American Coup
  15. Bill, James. The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations
  16. Blake, Stephen. Half the World: The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590-1722
  17. Bosworth, Clifford. Qajar Iran: Political, Social and Cultural Change, 1800-1925
  18. Boyce, Mary. Zoroastrians: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices
  19. Choksy, Jamsheed. Conflict and Cooperation: Zoroastrian Subalterns and Muslim Elites in Medieval Iranian Society
  20. Cronin, Stephanie. The Making of Modern Iran: State and Society Under Riza Shah
  21. Davaran, Fereshteh. Continuity in Iranian Identity: Resilience of a Cultural Heritage
  22. Davis, Dick. Epic and Sedition: A Case of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh
  23. Farazmand, Ali. The State, Bureaucracy, and Revolution in Modern Iran: Agrarian Reforms and Regime Politics
  24. Farmanfarmaian, Roxane. War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications Past and Present
  25. Farrokh, Kaveh. Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War
  26. Ferdowsi, Abolqasem. The Shahnameh (three volumes)
  27. Floor, Willem. Agriculture in Qajar Iran
  28. —. Public Health in Qajar Iran
  29. —. The Afghan Occupation of Safavid Persia 1721-1729
  30. Frye, Richard. The Golden Age of Persia
  31. Gasiorowski, Mark. Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran
  32. Ghani, Cyrus. Iran and the Rise of the Reza Shah: From Qajar Collapse to Pahlavi Power
  33. Gheissari, Ali. Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty
  34. —. Contemporary Iran: Economy, Society, Politics
  35. Gleave, Robert. Religion and Society in Qajar Iran
  36. Haseeb, Khair El-Din, ed. Arab-Iranian Relations
  37. Hooglund, Eric. Land and Revolution in Iran, 1960-1980
  38. Hoveyda, Fereydoun. The Shah and the Ayatollah: Iranian Mythology and Islamic Revolution
  39. Jaber, Hala, Hezbollah: Born with a Vengeance
  40. Jahanbakhsh, Forough. Islam, Democracy and Religious Modernism in Iran, 1953-2000: From Bazargan to Soroush
  41. Kamali, Masoud. Revolutionary Iran: Civil Society and State in the Modernization Process
  42. Keddie, Nikki. Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution
  43. —. Qajar Iran and the Rise of Reza Khan 1796-1925
  44. Khan, Inayat. The Hand of Poetry: Five Mystic Poets of Persia
  45. Khanbaghi, Aptin. The Fire, the Star and the Cross: Minority Religions in Medieval and Early Modern Iran
  46. Kinzer, Stephen. All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
  47. Kurzman, Charles. The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran
  48. Majd, Hooman. The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran
  49. Majd, Mohammad Gholi. From Qajar to Pahlavi: Iran, 1919-1930
  50. Marashi, Afshin. Nationalizing Iran: Culture, Power, and the State, 1870-1940
  51. Milani, Abbas. The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution
  52. —. Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Modernity in Iran
  53. —. The Shah
  54. Mottahedeh, Roy. The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran
  55. Mousavian, Seyed Hossein. The Iranian Nuclear Crisis: A Memoir
  56. Newman, Andrew. Safavid Iran: Rebirth of a Persian Empire
  57. Olmstead, AT. History of the Persian Empire
  58. Parsi, Trita. Treacherous Alliance: The Secret Dealings of Israel, Iran, and the United States
  59. Patrikarakos, David. Nuclear Iran: The Birth of an Atomic State
  60. Robinson, BW. Fifteenth-Century Persian Painting: Problems and Issues
  61. Rumi, Jalal al-Din. The Masnavi
  62. Rypka, J. History of Iranian Literature
  63. Saberi, Reza. A Thousand Years of Persian Rubaiyat: An Anthology of Quatrains from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century Along With the Original Persian
  64. Savory, Roger. Iran Under the Safavids
  65. Siavoshi, Sussan. Liberal Nationalism in Iran: The Failure of a Movement
  66. Sims, Eleanor. Peerless Images: Persian Painting and Its Sources
  67. Taheri, Amir. The Persian Night: Iran under the Khomeinist Revolution
  68. Thackston, Wheeler. A Millennium of Classical Persian Poetry: A Guide to the Reading & Understanding of Persian Poetry from the Tenth to the Twentieth Century
  69. Vali, Abbas. Modernity and the Stateless: The Kurdish Question in Iran
  70. Wiesehofer, Josef. Ancient Persia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s