Iran, the People


32 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Index
ISBN 0-7787-9316-8
DDC j955





Reviewed by Lisa Arsenault

Lisa Arsenault is a high-school English teacher who is involved in
several ministry campaigns to increase literacy.


Iran and Iraq are neighbouring countries. The land between the Tigris
and Euphrates Rivers, occupied in modern times by these countries, is
known as “the cradle of civilization,” and was home to the world’s
first cities.

Iraq, the Land details how the country’s geographical position shaped
its future—how its deserts and oases dictated the founding of the
modern country on the foundation of its strategically located ancient
cities. Iran, the Land retells a charming Persian legend that accounts
for Iran’s origins. Once known as Persia, Iran had been at the heart
of many great empires, and now bases its wealth on oil.

Iraq, the People looks at the many civilizations who have occupied the
area over its 5,000-year history (e.g., Sumerians, Babylonians,
Assyrians, Arabs) and left their legacy in the present ethnic mix. Like
Iraq, Iran was also subject to invaders throughout its history, and
Iran, the People explores the rich blending of peoples that have formed
its society. These books also cover family life, city and country life,
schooling, and pastimes.

Iraq, the Culture and Iran, the Culture describe their respective
country’s religion(s), music, dance, theatre, art, crafts,
architecture, and literature.

Common to all volumes are splendid photographs, diagrams, maps, charts,
a glossary, an index, and very easy-to-read prose.

The authors are to be commended for their handling of sensitive
material. The excesses and crimes of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein
receive full treatment, as do the religious fundamentalist extremes of
Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. It is this balanced treatment of not
glossing over harsh realities, while at the same time pointing out the
countries’ remarkable histories, cultural achievements, and natural
attractions that make these books worthwhile purchases. Recommended.


Fast, April., “Iran, the People,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 22, 2024,