Jalal Al-e Ahmad
Jalal Al-e Ahmad was born to a clerical religious family in Tehran in 1923. A teacher all his life, he joined the Communist Tudeh Party in 1943 and quickly rose through its ranks, becoming a member of the party committee for Tehran, before breaking with the Tudeh in 1947 in protest over Soviet influence. Al-e Ahmad was an influential and prolific writer and social critic, whose body of work includes short stories, notably the collection An Exchange of Visits; novels including By the Pen, The School Principal, and A Stone on a Grave; travelogues including A Straw in Mecca, A Journey to Russia, and A Journey to America; anthropological studies; essays; reviews; and translations. His best known work is Gharbzadegi (Occidentosis), which has also been translated to English as Weststruckness and Westoxification, a cultural critique of Westernization in Iran. In 2013, Restless Books published his polemical work based on his journey to Israel as The Israeli Republic. Al-e Ahmad was married to the novelist and translator Simin Daneshvar; the couple had no children. He died in 1969.
by Jalal Al-e Ahmad
Translated from the Persian and with an essay by Samuel Thrope
Correspondence with Simin Daneshvar
Introduction by Bernard Avishai
The Israeli Republic “suggests how the Iranian and Israeli leaders who feel such intense mutual hostility today actually mirror one another in certain ways, particularly in their foundational attitudes toward religious authority, political and economic populism and the West. That a writer such as Al-e Ahmad, guru to the ayatollahs, liked Israel now seems touching. What he liked about Israel seems cautionary."
—Bernard Avishai, Foreign Affairs
"My intellectual hero."
—Reza Aslan, author of Zealot and No god but God
Paperback List Price: $14.99 • ISBN: 9781632061393 • Pub: 1/31/16 • 5” x 7.125” • 144 pages • Israel & Palestine History/Middle East Political Science • Territory: World • eBook List Price: $14.99