Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County has been conducting “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-night book discussion group, often in the form of a study circle.  --  Topics have included peak oil, climate change, the corporation, and the history of the Middle East, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, politics, and social change.  --  Occasionally, we have spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation.  --  On June 5, 2006, Digging Deeper XVII will extend the discussion of Iran begun in Digging Deeper XVI,this time with a diverse set of books:  an exploration of Iranian culture and history, a study of Iranian religion and politics in their cultural context, the best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran, and two works of anti-Iran propaganda....

WHAT: Study circle on 5 books relating to Iran
WHO: Facilitated by members of United for Peace of Pierce County
WHEN: June 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2006, 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA.

A one-page flyer in .pdf format is available for printing and posting here.

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DIGGING DEEPER XVII: IRAN II

United for Peace of Pierce County (WA)
June 5, 12, 19, & 26, 2006

Since July 2004, United for Peace of Pierce County has been conducting “Digging Deeper,” a Monday-night book discussion group, often in the form of a study circle. Topics have included peak oil, climate change, the corporation, and the history of the Middle East, as well as abiding themes of war, peace, politics, and social change. Occasionally, we have spent several weeks reading longer works, like Daniel Yergin’s The Prize or Robert Fisk’s The Great War for Civilisation. On June 5, 2006, Digging Deeper XVII will extend the discussion of Iran begun in Digging Deeper XVI,this time with a diverse set of books: an exploration of Iranian culture and history, a study of Iranian religion and politics in their cultural context, the best-selling Reading Lolita in Tehran, and two works of anti-Iran propaganda.

· Sandra Mackey, The Iranians: Persia, Islam, and the Soul of a Nation (Dutton, 1996; paperback 1998). A blend of history and reportage by a Middle East journalist that thematizes tensions between the legacy of ancient Persia (Zoroastrianism, a philosophy of tolerance and justice, art) and the predominant Shiite Muslim religion (nonconformism, egalitarianism, anti-Western dogmatism) and urges the U.S. to replace its policy of isolation and embargo with a policy of reconciliation. —Publishers Weekly

· Roy Mottahedeh, The Mantle of the Prophet: Religion and Politics in Iran (Simon and Schuster, 1985; paperback 2000). Mottahedeh formerly taught at Princeton and is now Gurney Professor of History at Harvard. “No ordinary academic text . . . Mottahedeh combines the skills and art of the poet and novelist with the clarity and facts of an academic. I have never read such an interesting . . . description of what it’s like to study in a Shia Madrasa or to follow the curriculum and the stages that a student must follow to become an Ayatollah. Mottahedeh also offers . . . description of the cultural contrast that existed between . . . cosmopolitan Tehran and the countryside, which supplied so many of the clerics that influenced the masses living on the fringe. This book is invaluable to the specialist . . . yet it can also be read and enjoyed by the non-specialist.” —Alessandro Bruno.

· Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books (Random House, 2003; paperback 2003). “This book transcends categorization as memoir, literary criticism, or social history. . . . Literature professor Nafisi returned to her native Iran after a long education abroad, remained there for some 18 years, and left in 1997 for the United States, where she now teaches at Johns Hopkins. Woven through her story are the books she has taught along the way, among them works by Nabokov, Fitzgerald, James, and Austen. She casts each author in a new light, showing, for instance, how to interpret The Great Gatsby against the turbulence of the Iranian revolution and how her students see Daisy Miller as Iraqi bombs fall on Tehran. . . . Nafisi has produced an original work on the relationship between life and literature.” —Publishers Weekly.

· Kenneth M. Pollack, The Persian Puzzle: The Conflict between Iran and America (Little Brown, 2004). “Pollack, formerly director for Gulf affairs at the National Security Council and a military analyst for the CIA, . . . conclud[es] that although ‘Iran is on the wrong path and marching down it quickly,’ invasion would be a serious mistake. Part history lesson, part current affairs primer, and part party policy memo. . . . Ultimately, and with many codicils, Pollack decides that the U.S. can live with a nuclear Iran.” —Publishers Weekly.

· Kenneth R. Timmerman, Countdown to Crisis: The Coming Nuclear Showdown with Iran (Crown Forum, 2005; paperback 2006). “With so many amateur intelligence experts clouding the public dialogue, it is a pleasure to read the work of an author of real professionalism. Timmerman adds texture and clarity to the gross failures of our intelligence establishment and new visibility to the role of Iran in the Islamist war against America.” —John F. Lehman, 9/11 Commission member and former Secretary of the Navy.

MEETING SCHEDULE -- Mondays from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on June 5, 12, 19, and 26 at the Mandolin Café, 3923 South 12th St., Tacoma, WA.

No charge for participation. Contact Mark Jensen (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 253-756-7519).