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Iran at War: 1500-1988

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Iran's complex, violent military history encompasses two world wars, foreign intervention, anti-government revolts, border disputes, a revolution, a war against Iraq that lasted over eight years, and its desperate quest to become a nuclear power. Following his award-winning book, Shadows in the Desert, which explored the military history of ancient Persia, in Iran at War Ka Iran's complex, violent military history encompasses two world wars, foreign intervention, anti-government revolts, border disputes, a revolution, a war against Iraq that lasted over eight years, and its desperate quest to become a nuclear power. Following his award-winning book, Shadows in the Desert, which explored the military history of ancient Persia, in Iran at War Kaveh Farrokh turns his attention to modern Iran's wartime history. Beginning with the Safavid dynasty of the 16th and 17th centuries, he traces Iran's political and military progress to its dramatic turning point in 1979. In doing so, Farrokh demonstrates how Iran's current bellicosity on the world stage was shaped by centuries of military defeat and humiliating foreign influences from the likes of Russia and Great Britain. Including illustrations and photographs, this book provides an unparalleled investigation into the bloody history of modern Iran.


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Iran's complex, violent military history encompasses two world wars, foreign intervention, anti-government revolts, border disputes, a revolution, a war against Iraq that lasted over eight years, and its desperate quest to become a nuclear power. Following his award-winning book, Shadows in the Desert, which explored the military history of ancient Persia, in Iran at War Ka Iran's complex, violent military history encompasses two world wars, foreign intervention, anti-government revolts, border disputes, a revolution, a war against Iraq that lasted over eight years, and its desperate quest to become a nuclear power. Following his award-winning book, Shadows in the Desert, which explored the military history of ancient Persia, in Iran at War Kaveh Farrokh turns his attention to modern Iran's wartime history. Beginning with the Safavid dynasty of the 16th and 17th centuries, he traces Iran's political and military progress to its dramatic turning point in 1979. In doing so, Farrokh demonstrates how Iran's current bellicosity on the world stage was shaped by centuries of military defeat and humiliating foreign influences from the likes of Russia and Great Britain. Including illustrations and photographs, this book provides an unparalleled investigation into the bloody history of modern Iran.

48 review for Iran at War: 1500-1988

  1. 4 out of 5

    Brian Griffith

    This is a long, exhaustively detailed account of Iran's military history, including an honest examination of the Iraq-Iran war, with its moments of tactical brilliance and close to criminal stupidity. Among the hundreds of pages are tucked fascinating tidbits. For example, when Nader Shah led a Persian army to invade India in 1739, his troops included 7,000 female soldiers. This is a long, exhaustively detailed account of Iran's military history, including an honest examination of the Iraq-Iran war, with its moments of tactical brilliance and close to criminal stupidity. Among the hundreds of pages are tucked fascinating tidbits. For example, when Nader Shah led a Persian army to invade India in 1739, his troops included 7,000 female soldiers.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Norman Smith

    The book covers 500 years (488 to be precise) of Iranian history, and the title is accurate; it is all about Iran at war. There is very little else here about the society and broader changes. Fair enough, the title is spot on. The amount of research that went into this is impressive. There is quite a bit of detail about episodes that I would think would be rather obscure. The author seems to know his subject matter. In my opinion, he could have been a bit more skeptical about some of his sources, The book covers 500 years (488 to be precise) of Iranian history, and the title is accurate; it is all about Iran at war. There is very little else here about the society and broader changes. Fair enough, the title is spot on. The amount of research that went into this is impressive. There is quite a bit of detail about episodes that I would think would be rather obscure. The author seems to know his subject matter. In my opinion, he could have been a bit more skeptical about some of his sources, though. Some of the early wars feature armies of 500,000 to over a million. Personally, I am skeptical about this, and I think that the author should have said whether he felt these were reasonable numbers or whether they were what was reported in the sources, but should be taken with a grain of salt. I think that some of the other topics are problematic as well. He, or Osprey, the publisher, really need to look at getting a better editor too. Spelling errors abound, and seem more frequent in the last half of the book. More serious, though, are errors in facts like dates. For instance, on page 270 of my copy, the author has "Winston Churchill ... personally discussed the issue with President Roosevelt on August 11, 1945." By that date, Churchill was no longer Prime Minister, and Roosevelt was no longer alive. From the context, it is apparent that the date was in 1941, but it does make the rest of the text less trustworthy. Another problem comes from the nature of squeezing lots of history into a relatively few pages. A number of those pages became little more than name lists, with one military character succeeding another, and on and on, for paragraph after paragraph. I don't know how to solve this problem, but it might have helped to add a few adjectives from time to time so that we know who's an Ottoman, who's an Afghan, and so on. In my opinion, this would be a fine reference work for someone looking for information about "Iran at War", but I am not sure it is a good book for the general reader. I'm a history nerd, so I was willing to push on, but I suspect many others would bail out early.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Wessel

    The book gives an interesting insight in how Iran could evolve politcally and military in what it is today. However, I found that the author showed quite often some bias in the descriptions of certain battles and wars. It was always Iran that was the injured party and did nothing wrong. Especially in the chapters about the Iran/Iraq War. It started to become so bad that I almost stopped reading. All in all still glad I finished it, since it really gives some insight of why Iran behaves like it d The book gives an interesting insight in how Iran could evolve politcally and military in what it is today. However, I found that the author showed quite often some bias in the descriptions of certain battles and wars. It was always Iran that was the injured party and did nothing wrong. Especially in the chapters about the Iran/Iraq War. It started to become so bad that I almost stopped reading. All in all still glad I finished it, since it really gives some insight of why Iran behaves like it does today and why the relationship with the West is so complex.

  4. 4 out of 5

    John Somers

    15/20.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jesse

    If you ever want a book to just completely demolish your good day read any chapter of this book. The sheer degree to which Iran has been at war over the past several centuries is mind-boggling and sad. This book does a good job overviewing the timing of the wars, but really fails to capture or comment on the reasoning and politics behind a lot of the more recent wars. In addition if you are looking for a book which will tell you how many tanks or guns or soldiers to an exact number that the Iran If you ever want a book to just completely demolish your good day read any chapter of this book. The sheer degree to which Iran has been at war over the past several centuries is mind-boggling and sad. This book does a good job overviewing the timing of the wars, but really fails to capture or comment on the reasoning and politics behind a lot of the more recent wars. In addition if you are looking for a book which will tell you how many tanks or guns or soldiers to an exact number that the Iranian armies had at a given time then this is a great book for you, but the amount of detail is far beyond the needs of anybody just looking to understand the recent history and war or Iran.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kash

    Most of this is not author's original work. It has drawn from sources, some dubious, to conclude his narrative. Most of this is not author's original work. It has drawn from sources, some dubious, to conclude his narrative.

  7. 4 out of 5

    James Honeycutt

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hesam Nasiri

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jim

  10. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  11. 5 out of 5

    Wolfy Ghalkhani

  12. 5 out of 5

    Francois Zucco

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

  14. 4 out of 5

    Scott

  15. 4 out of 5

    Shahin

  16. 4 out of 5

    Romina

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Oman

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Howell

  19. 4 out of 5

    Evah Emanon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Brian Q

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cengiz Gunes

  22. 4 out of 5

    Yosef

  23. 5 out of 5

    Milad Ghezellu

  24. 5 out of 5

    Bodacius

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dora Mossanen

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rahyar Taghipoor

  27. 5 out of 5

    Pascquinel Hartman

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hazarmart Zeynavand

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ken

  30. 5 out of 5

    Brent

  31. 4 out of 5

    Azeem Ali

  32. 5 out of 5

    Terry Kuny

  33. 5 out of 5

    243 64

  34. 4 out of 5

    Aaron Groh

  35. 4 out of 5

    Coleman

  36. 4 out of 5

    Adam Maisel

  37. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

  38. 4 out of 5

    Azeem

  39. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  40. 5 out of 5

    Jocelyn

  41. 5 out of 5

    Mark Nenadov

  42. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  43. 4 out of 5

    Miladii

  44. 4 out of 5

    Evah Emanon

  45. 4 out of 5

    Hamza

  46. 5 out of 5

    Amrullah Zunzunia

  47. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Carey

  48. 5 out of 5

    Duane

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