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I say solid introduction because Guardians of the Revolution only covers the major players, factions, and events. It doesn't delve into the lives of Iranians, nor much into the Iranian parliament. Even major events, such as the hostage crisis, leave the reader (at least this reader) wanting more information despite receiving an entire chapter covering them.
As such, Guardians of the Revolution does not stack up in depth when compared with books such as Magnificent Delusions, The Plantagenets, or Legacy of Ashes. However, it does a good job of examining and analyzing the Iranian perspective of the past 40 years of events. It serves as a good teacher if you are interested in learning more about Iran, and are not already well-acquainted with the subject-matter.
At this point it is not as contemporary as may be hoped, as it ends with the Green movement and Ahmadinejad still in power. I, for one, will be looking forward to a sequel or update that examines Rouhani's return to the presidency, Iran & ISIS, and the end of US sanctions.
Regarding the difficulty of the book: This is a scholarly text, written by member of the Council on Foreign Relations. As with the other books I have mentioned above, a reader should expect a degree of professionalism with regards to the subject matter and the language used in such a text.
Regarding the political leanings of the book: I personally felt that this book was too generous regarding the Iran-Contra scandal, and it could have rebuked both Clinton and George W. Bush far more than it did.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
I was looking for more facts and more detail on how the people of Iran live under the current government. I wanted to know what makes them different and whether or not they really hate America.
Any additional comments?
This reads like a master's level academic book. The vocabulary is intelligent but hard to follow. My mind constantly wandered while listening.
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