Children of Paradise by Laura Secor
The Struggle for the Soul of Iran

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Although Ms. Secor does not always manage to situate such stories within a larger, coherent narrative, her subjects’ experiences speak for themselves — and they provide sharp, pinhole windows into a country...
-NY Times

Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize
Finalist for the PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction

The drama that shaped today's Iran, from the Revolution to the present day

In 1979, seemingly overnight, Iran became the first revolutionary theocracy in modern times. Since then, the country has been largely a black box to the West, a sinister presence on the world stage. But inside Iran, a breathtaking drama has unfolded as religious thinkers, political operatives, poets, journalists, and activists have imagined and reimagined what Iran should be. They have drawn as deeply on the traditions of the West as on the East and have acted upon their beliefs with urgency and passion, frequently staking their lives for them.
     With more than a decade of experience reporting on, researching, and writing about Iran, Laura Secor narrates this unprecedented history as a story of individuals caught up in the slipstream of their time, seizing and wielding ideas powerful enough to shift their country's course as they wrestle with Iran's apparatus of violent repression as well as its rich and often tragic history. Essential reading at this moment when the world has never been more entwined, Children of Paradise will stand as a classic of political reporting, an indelible portrait of a nation and its people striving for change.
 

About Laura Secor

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Published February 2, 2016 by Riverhead Books. 421 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences.
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Critic reviews for Children of Paradise
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Steve Negus on Feb 05 2016

...she might have made a greater attempt to tie the stories together as a way of assessing what the reform movement actually accomplished. The personal stories of Iranian reformists’ journeys are compelling. But readers must look elsewhere to judge whether their ideas really did make a difference.

Read Full Review of Children of Paradise: The Str... | See more reviews from NY Times

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Feb 01 2016

Although Ms. Secor does not always manage to situate such stories within a larger, coherent narrative, her subjects’ experiences speak for themselves — and they provide sharp, pinhole windows into a country...

Read Full Review of Children of Paradise: The Str... | See more reviews from NY Times

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