March 3, 2016
In 1979, seemingly overnight, Iran became the first revolutionary theocracy in modern times. Since then, the country has largely been a black box to the West, a sinister presence looming over the horizon.
But inside Iran, according to Laura Secor's Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran, a much different picture has unfolded. With traditions drawn as deeply from the West as from the East, religious thinkers, political operatives, poets, journalists, and activists have wrestled with their country's apparatus of violent repression and reimagined what Iran should be.