Cover image for The lonely war : one woman's account of the struggle for modern Iran
The lonely war : one woman's account of the struggle for modern Iran
Fathi, Nazila, 1970- , author.
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Basic Books, a member of the Perseus Books Group, [2014]
Physical Description:
xiv, 297 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm
"As a nine-year-old Tehrani schoolgirl during the Iranian Revolution, Nazila Fathi watched her country change before her eyes. The revolutionaries-- most of them poor, uneducated, and radicalized-- seized jobs, housing, and positions of power, transforming Iranian society practically overnight. But this socioeconomic revolution had an unintended effect. As Fathi shows, the forces unleashed in 1979 inadvertently created a robust Iranian middle class, one that today hungers for more personal freedoms and a renewed relationship with the outside world"--
Surveillance -- The formative years, 1979-1989. The revolution ; Nessa ; The time of horror ; "World powers did it!" ; The cleansing ; The war ; Our bodies, our battlefields ; Masoud ; The war ends -- Awakening, 1989-1999. After Khomeini ; Meeting a hawk ; The Intelligence Ministry ; The war revisited ; The walls come crashing down ; Nessa mourns ; A force for change ; Reform ; The regime strikes back -- The decade of confrontation, 1999-2009. The reformers speak out ; No fear of authority ; The "good" children of the revolution ; The "bad" children of the revolution ; Nasrin ; The rising tide ; End of an era ; Exile.
Format :


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Clearfield Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Central Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
Crane Branch Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Grand Island Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Hamburg Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Kenmore Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Lancaster Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Biography
Orchard Park Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library DS318.81 .F38 2014 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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In the summer of 2009, as she was covering the popular uprisings in Tehran for the New York Times , Iranian journalist Nazila Fathi received a phone call. "They have given your photo to snipers," a government source warned her. Soon after, with undercover agents closing in, Fathi fled the country with her husband and two children, beginning a life of exile.

In The Lonely War , Fathi interweaves her story with that of the country she left behind, showing how Iran is locked in a battle between hardliners and reformers that dates back to the country's 1979 revolution. Fathi was nine years old when that uprising replaced the Iranian shah with a radical Islamic regime. Her father, an official at a government ministry, was fired for wearing a necktie and knowing English; to support his family he was forced to labor in an orchard hundreds of miles from Tehran. At the same time, the family's destitute, uneducated housekeeper was able to retire and purchase a modern apartment--all because her family supported the new regime.

As Fathi shows, changes like these caused decades of inequality--especially for the poor and for women--to vanish overnight. Yet a new breed of tyranny took its place, as she discovered when she began her journalistic career. Fathi quickly confronted the upper limits of opportunity for women in the new Iran and earned the enmity of the country's ruthless intelligence service. But while she and many other Iranians have fled for the safety of the West, millions of their middleclasscountrymen--many of them the same people whom the regime once lifted out of poverty--continue pushing for more personal freedoms and a renewed relationship with the outside world.

Drawing on over two decades of reporting and extensive interviews with both ordinary Iranians and high-level officials before and since her departure, Fathi describes Iran's awakening alongside her own, revealing how moderates are steadily retaking the country.

Author Notes

Nazila Fathi worked for two decades as an Iranian correspondent for The New York Times before being forced to flee the country in 2009 at the height of the Green Revolution. Currently a writer for NPR and Foreign Policy and a commentator for Persian Language Voice of America television, she has held fellowships at Harvard University's Belfer Center at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard's Shorenstein Center for Press and Politics, and Harvard's Nieman Foundation, as well as at Lund University in Sweden. Fathi holds an MA in Political Science and Women's Studies from the University of Toronto. A frequent guest on BBC, CNN, NPR, and Fox News, she has also written for The New York Review of Books, Time,, Agence France-Presse, Harvard's Nieman Reports, and the online news outlets openDemocracy and GlobalPost.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

New York Times correspondent Fathi was being watched. The Iranian agents had her apartment under surveillance and tailed her when she went out. The intimidation and fear were too much for her, and she and her family escaped to a life of exile from her homeland. Now the journalist retells both her own story and that of Iran in this gripping account of the three decades following the revolution that brought Ayatollah Khomeini to power and created the Islamic Republic. Ever the professional, Fathi maintains a reasonable and precise tone, even when recounting violent protests and personal discrimination. She distills complex events at the national level down to their impact on individuals, such as the video-man peddling bootleg copies of foreign movies and TV shows, and the girls sitting by the pool, wondering when they will be allowed to swim again. The regime as observed by Fathi is oppressive and yet full of surprising contradictions, while the people remain undaunted despite the odds. This is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of modern Iran.--Thoreson, Bridget Copyright 2014 Booklist

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. With dazzling frankness and authenticity, New York Times political correspondent Fathi shows the reality faced by Iranian citizens throughout the last 30 years of political upheaval in the country. Fathi eschews sanitized, dissociated facts typical of the American news cycle and instead invites the reader into an intimate space: the home where she grew up and the small apartment she shared with her own children. Her recounting of the fluctuations in Iranian politics, from the removal of the shah in 1979 to the riots after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's corrupt reelection in 2009, is personal, like a person talking about a loved one's addiction. It is clear that we are hearing the story of a woman and a country she loves and believes in, and whose faults she is willing to face without blinders. With beautiful descriptions of the places and people of Iran alongside bald reports of the brutality of the conflicts between citizens and government, Fathi's book is multifaceted and incredibly informative. Readers of history and politics will revel in the accurate reporting of a veteran journalist and lovers of human interest stories will feel gratified to know Fathi so personally. VERDICT This educational, emotionally enthralling read about a country many Americans know only a little about is a must-read.-Kathleen Dupre, Edmond, OK (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Prologue: Surveillancep. 1
Part 1 The Formative Years, 1979-1989
1 The Revolutionp. 13
2 Nessap. 19
3 The Time of Horrorp. 29
4 "World Powers Did It!"p. 35
5 The Cleansingp. 47
6 The Warp. 55
7 Our Bodies, Our Battlefieldsp. 61
8 Masoudp. 71
9 The War Endsp. 81
Part 2 Awakening, 1989-1999
10 After Khomeinip. 89
11 Meeting a Hawkp. 95
12 The Intelligence Ministryp. 103
13 The War Revisitedp. 115
14 The Walls Come Crashing Downp. 121
15 Nessa Mournsp. 131
16 A Force For Changep. 137
17 Reformp. 153
18 The Regime Strikes Backp. 163
Part 3 The Decade of Confrontation, 1999-2009
19 The Reformers Speak Outp. 179
20 No Fear of Authorityp. 185
21 The "Good" Children of the Revolutionp. 199
22 The "Bad" Children of the Revolutionp. 209
23 Nasrinp. 217
24 The Rising Tidep. 233
25 End of An Erap. 245
26 Exilep. 255
Epiloguep. 263
Acknowledgmentsp. 269
Notesp. 273
Indexp. 285

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