Lost Wisdom
Rethinking Modernity in Iran
Lost Wisdom
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Abbas Milani
Hardcover/Paperback
168 pages
9.3 x 6.2
0-934211-89-2(H) 0-934211-90-6(PB)
$39.95 / 19.95
2004
In Stock


In the essays collected here, Abbas Milani uses an impressive array of cross-disciplinary Western and Iranian theories and texts to investigate the crucial question of modernity in Iran today. He offers a wealth of new insights into the thousand-year-old conflict in Iran between the search for modernity and the forces of religious obscurantism. The essays trace the roots of Shiite Islamic fundamentalism and offer illuminating accounts of the work of Iranian intellectuals—both men and women—and their artistic movements as they struggle to find a new path toward a genuine modernity in Iran that is congruent with Iran’s rich cultural heritage.

Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Modernity in Iran challenges the hitherto accepted theory that modernity and its related concepts of democracy and freedom are Western in essence. It also demonstrates that Iran and the West have more that brings them together than separates them in their search for such modern ideals as rationalism, the rule of law, and democracy.

These essays will reward the scholar and the general reader alike, and will go far toward explaining the enigma that is Iran today.






"Milani shows that long before the European Renaissance generated the radical ideas that eventually reshaped Europe and the United States, Persian statesmen, artists, and intellectuals had formulated ideas that strikingly anticipate those of modernity.… Lost Wisdom is not only a powerful work of historical analysis; it is also a moving and eloquent account of a series of remarkable individuals, depicted with rare sensitivity and precision."
—Stephen Greenblatt, Harvard University

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Table of Contents

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Excerpt

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Abbas Milani is currently a visiting professor of political science at Stanford University and a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. he has been Chair of the Department of History and Political Science at Notre Dame de Namur University since 1987. He has written and published extensively on Iran’s encounter with modernity. His books include The Persian Sphinx: Amir Abbas Hoveyda and the Riddle of the Iranian Revolution, Tales of Two Cities: A Persian Memoir, and a translation of King of the Benighted, a novella by Houshang Golshiri.


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