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Persia: Ancient & Modern

For more than three millennia Iran, or Persia as it was formerly known, was a melting pot of civilizations. Under Cyrus the Great, Persia was the center of the world's first empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean to modern-day Pakistan. Subsequent invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols and Turks have imbued the nation with an amazingly rich cultural and historical diversity. The Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the subsequent Iran-Iraq war reduced tourism to a trickle, but in the last decade the country's global significance within the modern world has resulted in increasing interest from intrepid travelers unafraid by the West's often 'blinkered' appraisal of Iran and its people.

Travelers have begun rediscovering the attractions - both old and new - of a diverse land filled with beauty, and brimming with potential. An essential book both for visitors to Iran - whether on business or traveling for pleasure - or for those simply with a thirst to learn about and understand this fascinating country, it provides a fascinating illumination of both ancient Persia and modern Iran. Up-to-date travel facts and tips combine with chapters on each of the country's provinces, and sections on Islamic art, architecture and religion.


“...awe-inspiring photography and no-expenses spared production - worth getting acquainted with for the sensational visual introduction alone...” - Real Travel Magazine

“...a reader to be studied before planning a trip. The first 170 pages deal with history, geography and culture of Iran, in more depth than in most other travel guides. The authors are all experts in their fields, with a great love of Iran, and they have been allowed by the editors to indulge their sometimes idiosyncratic enthusiasms in long articles about religion, poetry, calligraphy, music and even Christian churches... Those who read this book will see that there is much more behind the veil, which it will take years to understand. What this book does so well is to arouse the desire to go out there and find out more. The guide section, refreshingly, canters over the standard tourist sites, which are well described in other books, and takes the reader off-piste to all sorts of interesting corners of the land, where no group tour will ever go... The photographs are stunning, combining the monumental with the intimate, showing new angles on old subjects and bringing them to life by the inclusion of people, and there is a very useful list of books for further reading. This book is an excellent introduction to Iran, which scratches deep below the surface. It makes an excellent read for the armchair traveller as well. ...” - Iran Society Journal, November 2010

“...This almost 500-page guide brings together some deeply impressive research and the expertise of four authors to produce a handsome guide to a country most of us know next to nothing about. Far from the single-minded image of Iran that is popular in the media, full of religious fundamentalists out to suppress human rights while taking every opportunity to rail against the West, this book attempts to encompass the breadth and depth of a country that for thousands of years has been a crossing point for Asian and European cultures and a true melting pot for entire civilisations and cultures...The initial 100-odd pages focus on Iranian history, a hefty shift for any guide book, followed by a very useful 'facts for the traveller' section, where basic questions are answered in confidence. There are good entries on Islamic art, music, architecture and geography, before we get into the meat-and-bones descriptions of specific cities and areas. The chapters are packed with information and laced with special breakout essays by Bruce Wannell (the one on religion is particularly illuminating). Listings for accommodation are at the back of the book, with a particularly good list of websites. This feels like an old school, intelligent guide for a traveller who doesn't want their hand held - which is no doubt exactly the type of person who would choose to visit Iran...” - The Irish Times

“...A stunning guide, packed with history, that no visitor to Iran should be without....” - Christina Lamb, foreign affairs correspondent, 'Sunday Times' (London)

“...I did quite a bit of research before I chose this travel book, and find it to be the most recent and best quality of useful travel information....” - Amazon reader


+ Fourth edition

+ Combines general information on well-known sites with up-to-date travel facts

+ Literary excerpts from both Iranian and renowned Western writers add depth to an appreciation of Iranian culture

+ 464 pages; an additional 32 pages of information compared with 3rd edition

+ 133 color illustrations

+ 18 detailed maps

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Helen Loveday - Author
Anthony Cassidy - Photographer
Bruce Wannell - Author
Christoph Baumer - Author
Bijan Omrani - Author


Publication Date : August 2010
Category : TRAVEL/Asia
Paperback ISBN 10 : 962217812X
Paperback ISBN 13 : 978-962-217-812-0
Edition : Fourth Edition
Paperback Price : US$ 24.95, GB£ 15.95
Format : 8in x 5.5in
Pages : 464
Photos : 133
Maps : 23

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