Everything You Need to Know (All Access)With the uproar over Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s speech at Columbia University last week, views and opinions were aired on both sides of the free speech fence. But amidst those expressing support or dissent of Ahmadinejad’s right to speak and his backwards views on the Holocaust (obviously few expressed support of that statement), how many have a grasp on more than a passing pop-history of his country and, consequently, his rise to the presidency? In John Farndon’s new book, Iran: Everything You Need to Know, a basis for the present situation in Iran is presented through a brief look at the country’s history.

Because of the ability of [All Access] to get their books on the shelves quickly, Iran: Everything You Need to Know, published in April of this year, contains detailed events involving Iran that run all the way up to late February. The book also includes extensive historical information dating back 5000-6000 years ago exploring the Elamites, the Achaemenid Persian Empire, and the Sassanians, among othes. Surprisingly, Farndon’s effortless writing style manages to make an elaborately expansive history lesson fly by like an adventure novel.

Offering in-depth examinations of important political and religious figures in Iran’s history (from Mohammad to Ayatollah Khomeini), as well as world affairs and historical events (the Iran-Iraq war and the 1953 coup, for example), Farndon’s book is a brief historical map of Iranian history that offers readers something of a behind-the-scenes look at a country that is becoming increasingly more noticeable in the modern world. Any Western reader wishing to develop a better understanding of this important Middle Eastern country should take it upon themselves to read this book. Many books may offer information on Iran, but few will offer it in such an engaging, non-biased, easy-to-digest format.

Rating: A
President Ahmadinejad’s rating: C
President Bush’s rating: C

To purchase Iran: Everything You Need to Know, visit Amazon
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