Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

by Cyrus Kadivar
Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

Farewell Shiraz: An Iranian Memoir of Revolution and Exile

by Cyrus Kadivar


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A poignant memoir of pre-1979 Iran and the human drama behind the fall of the last shah

In October 1999 during a trip to Cairo, Cyrus Kadivar, an exiled Iranian living in London, visited the tomb of the last shah and opened a Pandora’s box. Haunted by nostalgia for a bygone era, he recalled a protected and idyllic childhood in the fabled city of Shiraz and his coming of age during the 1979 Iranian revolution. Back in London, he reflected on what had happened to him and his family after their uprooting and decided to conduct his own investigation into why he lost his country. He spent the next ten years seeking out witnesses who would shed light on the last days of Pahlavi rule. Among those he met were a former empress, ex-courtiers, disaffected revolutionaries, and the bereaved relatives of those who perished in the cataclysm.

In Farewell Shiraz, Kadivar tells the story of his family and childhood against the tumultuous backdrop of twentieth-century Iran, from the 1905–1907 Constitutional Revolution to the fall of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, before presenting accounts of his meetings with key witnesses to the Shah’s fall and the rise of Khomeini. Each of the people interviewed provides a richly detailed picture of the momentous events that took place and the human drama behind them.

Combining exquisite vignettes with rare testimonials and first-hand interviews, Farewell Shiraz draws us into a sweeping yet often intimate account of a vanished world and offers a compelling investigation into a political earthquake whose reverberations still live with us today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9789774169328
Publisher: American University in Cairo Press, The
Publication date: 09/03/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 440
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Cyrus Kadivar was born in Minnesota to Iranian-French parents. He grew up during the Shah’s reign in the Persian city of Shiraz. At sixteen he and his family were uprooted by the 1979 revolution. He has since worked as a banker, freelance journalist, and political risk consultant and lives in London.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Prologue xiii

Chronology xix

Part 1 Of Things Past

1 Roses and Nightingales 3

2 Land of Fars 8

3 Dream City 17

4 A New World 26

5 Love and Politics 39

6 Homecoming 49

7 Age of Innocence 55

8 Spellbound 62

9 Our House 72

10 A False Stability 80

11 Gathering Storm 86

12 Uneasy Summer 93

13 Writing on the Wall 101

14 End of an Era 108

15 Revolution! 117

16 Farewell Youth 128

Part 2 Exile

17 Displaced 137

18 Café de la Paix 148

19 After Khomeini 156

20 Reunion 163

21 The Shah's Ghost 170

Part 3 Witnesses and Survivors

22 Past Errors 183

23 Whirlwind 194

24 Night of the Generals 202

25 Sentimental Journey 210

26 Father and Son 222

27 Soraya 233

28 Persepolis Revisited 242

29 Ex-Ambassador 252

30 No Regrets 264

31 Palace Witnesses 276

32 Master of Ceremonies 287

33 Security of the Realm 300

34 The Diplomat 311

35 The General's Widow 322

36 Khosrowdad 332

37 Blue Eyes 342

38 Hoveyda's End 352

39 The Last Empress 363

Epilogue 375

Sources and Bibliography 379

Photographic Credits 394

Index 395

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