Monday, April 22, 2013

From Persia to Iran

For two years, I lived ten miles from the Iranian border.  I had always wanted to see it's great religious and historical sites going back to the days of Xerxes and Darius the Great.  But at the time Iran was off limits to Americans and in any case belligerent toward American hikers.  Meanwhile, I collected some books to help me with armchair travel to Iran. 

1. Touring Iran, Philip Ward (1971).  The author published a series of tourist guides to middle eastern hot spots (Touring Libya (3 volumes) and Touring Lebanon) back when  A tourist guide adventurous westerners might have been able to travel there in relative safety.  Ward's guide is definitely for the intellectually minded tourist.  Maps, black and white photos, useful words and phrases and basic information about the cities.  Bought used at the State Department Bookstore.


2.  The Legacy of Persia, Ed. by A.J. Arberry (1953).  Collection of histories written by English scholars.  From anicient times to the 19th Century.  Black and white photos of historical buildings and artistic artifacts.   Helpful timelines of different dynasties.   Bought used at the State Department Bookstore.  

3.  Persian Pilgrimages: Journeys Across Iran, Afshin Molavi (2002).  Molavi is a western educated journalist who travels back to his home country to report on the full spectrum of historical and religious sites and everyday Iranian life.  Bought at Second Story Books, Washington, DC.  

4.  In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade, Robin Wright (1989).  Wright provides the definitive history of Khomeini's revolution from the takeover of the American Embassy through the decade of the 1980s.  Bought new.

5.  Iran, Iranian Department of Publications and Broadcasting (1963).   Part of my collection of out of date or obscure tourist guides.  This tourist booklet that would have been published at the time the Shah was pushing his country toward more openness.  Bad resolution color and black and white photography.  Bought used at the State Department Bookstore.

6.  A Narrative of Turkey and Persia, Vol II, Rev. Horatio Southgate (1840).  Historically fascinating.  Book describes itself as providing occasional observations upon the conditions of Mohammedanism and Christianity.  Narrative is told through the eyes of a christian minister.  Engravings of historical sites.  Birthday gift; label inside says it was originally sold by James B. Dow Bookseller and Stationer, Boston.  


No comments:

Post a Comment