I just wanted to put up a quick post to let it be known (to those few people who might care) that my “The Books” section above is updated again. In the midst of my reading and research for the summer Bible Survey Class, I had to put all personal reading off to the side–and, along with that, that Books page.
But, I’ve updated it now, with my new additions. For personal reading, I’ve added Moby Dick and Stephen Kinzer’s All The Shah’s Men. For my devotional reading, I added the poems of Hart Crane (which are rocking my world). I’ve also changed the formatting on the page for easier reading, and added links to posts in which I’ve shared quotes, reviews, or meditations from my time reading that book. Hopefully this will make this page a little more useful for those looking for book recommendations.
I also wanted to give a recommendation for Kinzer’s book (I posted a quote from the book last week). It’s more-or-less a modern history of Iran, and it’s incredible. For anyone that wants to have a much more informed understanding of middle-east dynamics. there were few more formative events than the ones talked about in this book (some of which you can read about here).
Long story short, did you all know that the U.S. were the ones responsible for staging a coup in Iran in the 50s that removed the new Iranian ruler and replaced him with who we thought was a pro-American guy but ended up being a terrible ruler? This led to the revolution 20 years later that caused the Iran hostage crisis and the current theocratic rulers who are now in place.
The book shows how these interventionist actions were the things that scattered the seeds for the radical Islam and modern terrorism we’re dealing with today.And honestly, the book is worth its cover price simply for it’s opening essay about why we shouldn’t attack Iran. First off, Iranians are not Arabs; they’re Persians. This means that Iran is one of the (if not the) oldest continuously-existing nation in the world. They had been around for over 1,000 years when we were just being birthed as a nation. They are an advanced, wealthy, educated, civilized, first-world country. They are not a bunch of radical, primitive, desert-dwelling nomadic stereotypes as they are sometimes portrayed. The essay goes through the historical and political reasons why Iran has acted the way it has and points out that America seems to consistently meddle in Iran’s affairs at the exact moment when they are the closest they’ve ever been to real democratic growth. This meddling ends up bringing chaos to the nation, and sets back the reform voices in the government, media, and society for a generation or two. Iran has much to offer America and has many mutual interests with it. The essay maps out a method for interacting with Iran in a way where both nations save face and progress is made. Seriously. Get this book. I also want to open this up for anyone else’s thoughts on Iran, how we should interact with them, and any links to stories about this topic they’ve found interesting or helpful. So….have at it.
[image credit: “day one hundred eighty nine” by [isabel] on flickr (account no longer active)]