World-renowned Iranian expert Homa Katouzian presents the first comprehensive introduction to one of the world’s most controversial and misunderstood countriesSince the 1979 revolution, Iran has been locked in conflict with the United States and Europe. Personified in the West by a series of bogeymen from Ayatollah Khomeini to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this villainous mask obscures a far more complex identity, forged by a vibrant and chaotic history. Revealing the country’s true face, acclaimed expert Homa Katouzian delves deep into Iran’s past, exploring how an ancient civilization at a crossroads of diverse dynasties and religions grew to become an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally rich nation. Centuries of arbitrary rule and revolution – from the first Persian empires to the Green Movement – are brought to life as Katouzian offers fresh insight into this fascinating country. Asking where its future may lie post–Arab Spring, this is the perfect primer for understanding a country characterized by constant flux and controversy.