February 24, 2024 | Rome, Italy

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran

By |2018-03-21T18:35:52+01:00February 25th, 2009|Recent Reviews|

By Hooman Madj

Doubleday, 2008. 288 pages.


he popular image of Iran in the West is not pretty — fatwas, hostages and, more recently, a bombastic, Holocaust-denying leader. But to see this as the essence of this politically-crucial state is to fall into the “axis of evil” mindset.

Madj is an Iranian-American journalist, who takes the reader along on his travels through his country of birth. We meet a hijab-wearing cab driver, an opium-addicted mullah, and leaders remarkably attuned to public opinion. Madj chooses to leave close examination of human rights abuses to others. His engrossing narrative provides much-needed challenges to orthodox thinking about Iran. A timely and illuminating read.

About the Author:

Kate Swoger is too-rapidly approaching middle age. Following a young woman’s not-so-erotic journey from Montreal to Middle Europe, she settled in Toronto, where she works for CBC Radio. On her last birthday, she decided to write a short story for every month of the year, in an effort to become a published author. Her first story was recently printed in the Vancouver magazine Front, making her instantly immortal.