Research Programs: Public Scholars

Period of Performance

9/1/2016 - 8/31/2017

Funding Totals

$50,400.00 (approved)
$50,400.00 (awarded)

Children of the Revolution: Iran and America since 1600

FAIN: FZ-250484-16

John Ghazvinian
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)

A new history of American relations with Iran from the 17th-century to the present. Treating topics ranging from Persian influences on early American colonists to 19th-century American missionary work in Iran and the experiences of American soldiers in Iran during World War II, the book is based on unprecedented access to Iranian archival sources.

Children of the Revolution, to be published by Knopf in 2017, is the first book to tell the story of America's long and complicated relationship with Iran using both Iranian and American archival sources. From 2007-2009, during the course of three research trips to Tehran, I was able to secure access to the official archives of Iran's Foreign Ministry--access never before given to a scholar from outside Iran. The information obtained during those trips has been combined with other Iranian and US archival sources, such as newspapers, oral histories, memoirs, etc. The result, when completed, will be a definitive new history of US-Iran relations, covering such topics as early colonial American impressions of Persia, 19th-century missionaries, the influence of Persian themes on Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, early American oil exploration in Iran, the experience of US GIs in Iran in WWII, the 1953 coup, the 1979-81 hostage crisis, and recent disputes over Iran's nuclear program.

Media Coverage

What Has Gone Wrong Between Iran and the United States? (Review)
Author(s): Abbas Milani
Publication: New York Times
Date: 1/22/2021
Abstract: Reviewer calls book "delightfully readable, genuinely informative and impressively literate"

America and Iran, from fascination to antagonism (Review)
Author(s): Ray Takeyh
Publication: Washington Post
Date: 2/24/2021
Abstract: This review was unfortunately assigned to an author whose own book came out on the same day, on a very similar topic -- a clear conflict of interest. Publisher and author lodged complaints with The Washington Post over this obvious breach of journalistic ethics. Review should be read with this in mind.

The history of America's relationship with Iran (Review)
Publication: Economist
Date: 1/23/2021
Abstract: Generally positive review of America and Iran

Associated Products

AMERICA AND IRAN: A History, 1720 to the Present (Book)
Title: AMERICA AND IRAN: A History, 1720 to the Present
Author: John Ghazvinian
Abstract: Drawing on years of archival research both in the United States and Iran – including access to Iranian government archives rarely available to Western scholars – the book leads us through the four seasons of U.S.-Iran relations: the “spring” of mutual fascination; the “summer” of early interactions; the “autumn” of close strategic ties; and the long, dark “winter” of mutual hatred.
Year: 2020
Primary URL:
Publisher: Knopf
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780307271815
Copy sent to NEH?: No