The Ayatollah Begs to Differ

The Ayatollah Begs to Differ : The Paradox of Modern Iran

3.75 (1,798 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


Hooman Majd, acclaimed journalist and New York-residing grandson of an Ayatollah, has a unique perspective on his Iranian homeland. In this vivid, warm and humorous insider's account, he opens our eyes to an Iran that few people see, meeting opium-smoking clerics, women cab drivers and sartorially challenged presidential officials, among others.

Revealing a country where both t-shirt wearing teenagers and religious martyrs express pride in their Persian origins, that is deeply religious yet highly cosmopolitan, authoritarian yet reformist, this is the one book you should read to understand Iran and Iranians today.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 20mm | 281.23g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141047410
  • 9780141047416
  • 348,045

Review Text

Captivating ... wise and witty ... essential reading GQ
show more

Review quote

Captivating ... wise and witty ... essential reading * GQ * Illuminating, critical and affectionate * Economist, Books of the Year * Westerners who tend to seek out only Iranians who talk and think like themselves should use this as a guide * Financial Times * Mr President, if you are serious about negotiating with Iran, you need ... the best book on contemporary Iranian culture and all of its complexities and contradictions. Don't go to Tehran without it * Washington Monthly, `What Obama Should Read' * The best book yet written on the contradictions of contemporary Iran ... it captures like no book in recent memory the ethos of the country, in elegant and precise prose * LA Times * It is rare to have this perspective delivered in English with such richness and nuance - it is a perspective quite distinct from the reportorial assembly work of Western reporters or the pained laments of Iranian exiles . . . one hopes that American policymakers will take the time to absorb this book * Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars * Majd's cosmopolitan perspective permeates his book . . . an impressionistic collection of reporting, memoir, travelogue and commentary * Washington Post *
show more

About Hooman Majd

Hooman Majd was born in Tehran, Iran in 1957 and brought up in Britain and the United States. He has written about Iran for Newsweek, the Financial Times, GQ, The New Yorker and The New York Times among others and comments on the situation in Iran for a wide variety of media. With links to both conservative and secular Iran during his frequent visits, his writing offers a unique perspective on the country, one both 100% Iranian and 100% American. He lives in New York City.
show more

Rating details

1,798 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 23% (405)
4 40% (721)
3 30% (541)
2 5% (83)
1 3% (48)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X