A book I want to read. Reviewed in The New York Times Book Review for Feb. 13, 2005.
In the Rose Garden of the Martyrs: A Memoir of Iran by Christopher de Bellaigue. Reviewed by Pico Iyer. De Bellaigue writes for The Economist. This is his debut book. It pitches
us into the very heart and streets of the Iranian revolution today, its troubled consciences, and giving us so jolting a sense of ordinary lives and human losses that we can no longer see the country in simplistic, public-policy terms of “conservatives versus reformists.”
…Among other things, the scenes of history made vital recall to us that many in the Islamic world think in terms of centuries, even millenniums; their enemies in Washington often can scarcely remember what happened last week.
…De Bellaigue is a defiantly literary writer, and he gives us a sense of Tehran today so immediate and insistent that we can hear and feel the unending anxieties of those who, if we attack them, will, alas, become nothing but statistics.