Books

Blood & Oil: A Prince’s Memoir of Iran, from the Shah to the Ayatollah

 

”        Told with energy, perception and great charm. . . . For anyone who wants     to . . . gain insight into the great cultural and political richness of Iran, past, present and future, this book is a marvelous introduction.”
–Fred Halliday, Los Angeles Times

Iran was the first country in the Middle East to develop an oil industry, and oil has been central to its tumultuous twentieth-century history. A finalist for the PEN/West Award, Blood and Oil tells the epic inside story of the battle for Iranian oil. A prominent member of one of Iran’s most powerful aristocratic families–so feared by Khomeini that the entire clan was blacklisted–Prince Manucher Farmanfarmaian was raised in a harem at the heart of Iran’s imperial court. With wit and provocative detail, he describes the days when he served as the Shah’s oil adviser and pioneered the partnership that resulted in OPEC. Beautifully written and epic in its scope, this scintillating memoir provides a fascinating history of modern Iran.

”        Distinguished by its political acumen, historical sense, and vividness of description and anecdote. It is also notable for a wry sense of humour. . . . Amid the euphoria about the development of the oilfields of Central Asia and the Transcaucasus, [its] lesson should be kept in mind.”
–Anatol Lieven, Financial Times

“A book of stunning beauty . . . One of the best accounts of the cultural and political life of modern Iran, it is exquisite and intimate, rendered with art-istry and detail.”                                                                     –Fouad Ajami

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Paris Was Ours

Thirty-two Writers Reflect on the City of Light

Algonquin, 2010

“Out of the Revolution” – Chapter by Roxane Farmanfarmaian, page 138

 

Paris is “the world capital of memory and desire,” concludes one of the writers in this intimate and insightful collection of memoirs of the city. Living in Paris changed these writers forever.

In thirty-two personal essays—more than half of which are here published for the first time—the writers describe how they were seduced by Paris and then began to see things differently. They came to write, to cook, to find love, to study, to raise children, to escape, or to live the way it’s done in French movies; they came from the United States, Canada, and England; from Iran, Iraq, and Cuba; and—a few—from other parts of France. And they stayed, not as tourists, but for a long time; some are still living there. They were outsiders who became insiders, who here share their observations and revelations. Some are well-known writers: Diane Johnson, David Sedaris, Judith Thurman, Joe Queenan, and Edmund White. Others may be lesser known but are no less passionate on the subject.

Together, their reflections add up to an unusually perceptive and multifaceted portrait of a city that is entrancing, at times exasperating, but always fascinating. They remind us that Paris belongs to everyone it has touched, and to each in a different way.

Paris Was Ours official website

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An EU Innovative External Action?

“Iran and the EU: Reassessing the European Role”

Chapter 5, pp 103-130 by Roxane Farmanfarmaian, 2011

Download the chapter as a PDF

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War and Peace in Qajar Persia: Implications Past and Present

Roxane Farmanfarmaian, editor, 2008, Routledge

 

With new and existing evidence being reconsidered, this edited collection takes a multidisciplinary approach to discussing the Qajar system within the context of the wars that engulfed it and the periods of peace that ensued. It throws new light on the decision-making processes, the restraints on action, and the political exigencies at play during the Qajar years.

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