Since the 1979 revolution, Iran has been locked in conflict with the United States and Europe. Personified in the West by a series of bogeymen from Ayatollah Khomeini to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, this villainous mask obscures a far more complex identity, forged by a vibrant and chaotic history. Revealing the country's true face, acclaimed expert Homa Katouzian delves deep into Iran's past, exploring how an ancient civilization at a crossroads of diverse dynasties and religions grew to become an ethnically, linguistically, and culturally rich nation. Centuries of arbitrary rule and revolution - from the first Persian empires to the Green Movement - are brought to life as Katouzian offers fresh insight into this fascinating country. Asking where its future may lie post-Arab Spring, this is the perfect primer for understanding a country characterized by constant flux and controversy.