By Aria Minu-Sepehr
Free press, $25.00, 256 pages

On January 16, 1979, the last monarch of Iran, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was forced from his country by a popular political uprising. The underlying causes of the Iranian Revolution were complex: modernization and nationalization that came too fast, the influence of the United States in internal affairs, political dissent that was too firmly crushed, along with lingering corruption and class animosities. The resulting turmoil came with a speed and ferocity that rocked the world, even as it tore apart a nation. Seen through the eyes of a young boy, these events also left a personal and ever-lasting impression. The author, the privileged son of a high-ranking and powerful general in the Iranian Air Force, watched as the only life he had ever known was quickly and irrevocably swept aside. Minu-Sepehr innocently but eloquently captures both the abundant joy and harrowing terror of those days as it plays out not on the world’s stage but in his own home and family. The author, who now lives in Oregon, is the founder of the Forum for Middle East Awareness and a frequent speaker on topics related to Iran and U.S. foreign policy.

Reviewed by Linda Fredericksen