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Book: Iran at War, by Kaveh Farrokh

06/21/11 Press Release by Osprey Publishing

Kaveh Farrokh is an expert on Persian languages and Iranian history whose new book, Iran at War: 1500-1988, provides a full examination of modern Iranian military history. Dr. Farrokh obtained his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of British Columbia. His previous title Shadows in the Desert: Ancient Persia at War (Osprey, 2007) was named “Best History Book” by the World Academy of Arts Literature and Media in 2008. Dr. Patrick Hunt, Professor of Archaeology at Stanford University, said this about it, “… a book for all who have ever been curious about the ‘other’ view on Persia, not from the Western standpoint rooted in Greece, but from the traditions of the Persians themselves... Meticulously researched and documented….”

Iran at War by Kaveh Farrokh
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Iran at War begins where Shadows in the Desert ended, with the Arab conquest of Persia and the rise of Islam in the mid-7th century. Farrokh then describes the pivotal 16th century which saw the rise of a powerful family, the Safavids, which ruled Iran for 200 years. During the Safavid period, a strong, secular-minded central government fielded an army that was able to stare down threats from the Turks, Arabs, and Russians in the west and the Uzbeks and Afghans in the east. According to Farrokh, the push south, east, and west from Iran’s hostile neighbors during this era foreshadowed security threats it has faced down to the current day and does much to explain why modern Iran is so eager to its project power.

For readers interested in geopolitics, Iran at War provides much needed insight into “the state of mind” of the Iranian people. Farrokh analyzes the ethnic and religious hostilities, and which have often flared into open warfare over the past 400 years, that set the Iranians apart from their neighbors. His analysis of the Iranian revolution in 1979 and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war provides important background information in Iran’s quest for the bomb. “Under the Shah, prior to the revolution, Iran had one of the best trained and best-equipped militaries in the world,” says Farrokh. “The revolutionary leaders, however, were fearful of the military’s power and sought to weaken it. Iran is still dealing with that weakness of conventional forces today.”

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About the Author:
Kaveh Farrokh was born in Athens, Greece in 1962 and immigrated to Canada in 1983 although he has traveled widely in the U.S. during the course of his research. He has given lectures and seminars at the University of British Columbia and the Knowledge Network Television Program of British Columbia and has also written articles for various journals. Dr. Farrokh obtained his Ph.D. in 2001 from the University of British Columbia where he specialized in the acquisition of Persian languages. He acted as a historical advisor on the film Cyrus the Great, and has appeared on the History Channel documentary as an expert on the Persian Empire. Kaveh’s work includes Shadows in the Desert (2007), which was published by Osprey to critical acclaim.

About the Publisher:
Osprey Publishing is the world’s largest publisher of illustrated military history reference. Based in Oxford, England, and New York, it has over 1,100 titles in print in 15 series, including “Aces of the Aircraft,” “Warrior,” “Campaign,” and its flagship uniformology series, “Men-at-Arms,” which this year will publish its 465th volume. Visit us online at

Iran at War
By Kaveh Farrokh
Osprey Hardcover $29.95 480 pages
On sale: May 24, 2011 ISBN: 978-1-84603-491-6

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