The Islamic revolution in Iran did not arise out of thin air. For years, the country had seethed with repressed resentment of the Shah's heavy-handed, authoritarian policies. Illegal societies operated underground, some tracing back to the beginning of the Shah's reign. Nationalists, socialists, Marxists, and Islamic leftists and reformers--all with somewhat different agendas--juggled for influence and support. The universities, mosques, and tea houses were filled with discussions that ranged from the theoretical to the seditious. This novel presents a heart-warming picture of the Iranian people who befriend, guide, love, and laugh at Marco, a young American teaching at the University of Tehran when forces opposing the Shah were gathering strength. Marco naively assumes at first that U.S. help is wanted and appreciated by the Iranians, but soon he comes to see himself--in the eyes of some--as an instrument of the West's arrogant assertion of control. And then he falls in love.