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Our Man in Iran

Our Man in Iran

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Odysseus Books
5.75 X 8.25 in
108 pg

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During a lull in the tensions between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, Matthew Stevenson set out from his home in Geneva, Switzerland, to ride a series of trains around the contours of Iran.

With a Kindle and a stack of railway maps and timetables in his backpack, he travels on a series of overnight trains to Mashhad, Esfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz, before flying home from Tehran.

In Tehran he visits the grounds where in 1979 American diplomats were held hostage, and in Mashhad he goes to the Imam Reza Holy Shrine and many of its mosques. To get around Esfahan he hires a bicycle.

His travel companions are a collection of histories, novels, and films about Persia and the Islamic Republic. Of Robert Byron, the English author of The Road to Oxiana (published in 1937), Stevenson writes: He had gone to all the places I was to see in Iran. In the end, I left behind my guidebook (even in print, I find guide-speak oppressive) and chose Byron as my in-print travel companion.

One of the few Western travelers to reach Iran in recent years, Stevenson, himself, is a delightful guide endlessly curious about the country that has dominated so many headlines in recent years. 

Matthew Stevenson
Author Bio

“Whistle-Stopping America has the allure of Matthew Stevenson's masterful writing and his beguiling insights into travel, the next stop, and family. He has an unfailing eye for detail, analysis, and the joys around us, all sprinkled with wit and humor.  His zest for life will trap you.”

        —Jack Owens, author, Don’t Shoot, We’re Republicans

 “Matthew Stevenson's wit and perception sparkle like his writing.”

        —Simon Hoggart, columnist, The Guardian

 “A traveler in time as well as space, Matthew Stevenson finds in the landscape of the present the rich inheritance of the past.”

         —Lewis Lapham, editor and founder,Lapham’s Quarterly