"A quarter century ago, a group of Iranian students swept into the United States embassy in Tehran, overpowering the Americans there and taking them hostage. The crisis that ensued would define the Carter presidency and help give rise to the Reagan administration. It would begin as a rebellion against one brutal dictator and end with another in place. It was the turning point, the moment when radical Islam first rose up against America--the beginning of a clash that continues to define our times today. The author's narrative races from Washington to Tehran to Paris to Panama, tracking a dying Shah, a flailing Carter, an ascending Khomeini, the disastrous Desert One rescue attempt, and the lives of the Americans held in blindfolds amid a revolution like none other."
Nafisi details her experiences in Iran from 1979 to 1997, when she taught English literature in Tehran universities and hosted a private seminar on Western literature for female university students. Born and raised in Iran, the author offers readers a personal account of events in the postrevolutionary period that are often generalized by other writers.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winner speaks of her pre-revolution law career in Iran, the ideals behind that revolution, and her difficult life in the reality which its leaders brought to the country. Demoted by authorities who believe women are unfit to be judges, she nevertheless fought on for the rights of women and children, despite imprisonment and assasination attempts.
Wright examines how having the international spotlight shown on Iran during the hostage crisis, terrorist bombings, and Iraq War distracted the government's attention from the country's problems of unemployment, rising population, and food shortages.
The last empress of Iran tells the story of her decades-long marriage to the Shah. Her story is set during a time of change and, ultimately, revolution that forced the Pahlavi family to flee the country.