Descendants of Cyrus

Dispatches from the Real Iran

Christopher Thornton

A firsthand look at one of the least accessible and yet most politically significant countries on earth, Descendants of Cyrus taps is a beautifully written travelogue full of Iranian culture, history, and politics.
Publication date:
November 2019
Publisher :
Potomac Books, Inc.
Language:
English
Format Available     Quantity Price
Hardback
ISBN : 9781640120372

Dimensions : 228 X 152 mm
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£25.00

Overview
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• A firsthand look at one of the least accessible and yet most politically significant countries on earth
• A beautifully written travelogue full of Iranian culture, history, and politics

We know the political narrative: Iran is dangerous, full of terrorists and weapons of mass destruction. It's one of the countries included in the controversial travel ban. But Christopher Thornton has a different story to tell: A story of good food, liberal-minded people, beautiful architecture, and a country with a history spanning over 7,000 years that's been colored by the many cultures that span Central Asia and Europe. Iran is a fascinating place, and Descendants of Cyrus introduces you to the culture, the history, and the ordinary Iranians living lives far different from what we're shown on television. Writing about his own travels, Thornton takes the reader through the cities of Iran where he encounters robust, barely hidden black markets filled with American movies and music; sees the women of Shiraz explore modern fashion and beauty products with no fear of reprisal from a weakened regime; and meets the students populating the university town of Hamadan, where a generation of activists is finding its voice. He takes in the past and present culture of each stop, using historical context to inform his many conversations with citizens of all walks of life. Unexpected pluralism comes to light, embodying surprising religious and ethnic diversity, intellectual curiosity, a thirst for Western culture, and the desire to live a modern, secular life. This divide between a people and its government is not without side effects; Thornton reveals the social alienation felt by many of Iran's youth, and how perhaps their most unifying ambition is to create a life elsewhere, and has led to open speculation and uncertainty by Iranians about how their lives might be different once the clerical, authoritarian leadership has far less sway over them. A firsthand look at one of the least accessible and yet most politically significant countries on earth, Descendants of Cyrus taps into the hidden pulse of a culture and a generation that promises to reshape Iran in a way few Westerners could have anticipated.