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.