America and Iran: A History, 1720 to the Present

Knopf. Jan. 2021. 688p. ISBN 9780307271815. $38.95. HIST
Iranian-American historian and journalist Ghazvinian (Untapped) traces the history of the relationship between America and Iran dating back from 1720. The book draws on extensive historical documents and archival sources to expand the hidden profiles and personalities of Iranians and Americans who were engaged in fostering relations with one another. At almost 700 pages, this book captures the details of this complex relationship and clearly explains how both countries have been forced to respond to each other positively and harshly based on historical circumstances and conditions. The book is timely and vividly engaging for those trying to understand how both nations have perceived and interacted with each other, as well as with how their relationship became complicated and intense following the hostage crisis in 1979 and, most recently, the murder of Iranian major general Qasem Soleimani in 2020. Ghazvinian’s epilog offers hope in building a positive relationship between the two as strategic partners, and the importance of such partnership for the world.
VERDICT Readers interested in the history of U.S.-Iran and Middle Eastern politics and history will find Ghazvinian’s book to be richly telling and in-depth.
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