As a CIA spy, Edward Shirley operated on the front lines in Europe and the Middle East ferreting out the secrets of the most vociferous enemy of the United States. But, though he studied Iran and was obsessed with it from childhood, he never actually could cross its borders. The agency would recruit only native-born Iranians to enter the country as spies. After leaving the clandestine service, Shirley had to find out what was happening on the ground in Iran, so he smuggled himself into the country inside a box in the back of a friend's truck.In narrating Know Thine Enemy, a gripping and wry account of his trip, Shirley blends a spy's cunning and nose for adventure with shrewd insights into the Iranian character. What he finds runs counter to what most American know about Iran. He depicts glamorous Westernized Iranians, disillusioned Muslim fundamentalists, and a crippled veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. Ordinary Iranians, he reports, are weary of Islamic dogma and the clerical regime and have resorted to cynicism, conspiracy, and black humor as everyday survival tactics, because the radical Islam promulgated by Khomeini and his successors has solved few of Iran's problems. Unique and engrossing, Know Thine Enemy is a vivid, firsthand portrait of the clash of Western and Muslim civilizations.
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Edward Shirley served as an Iranian specialist in the CIA's Directorate of Operations. He has published articles in The Atlantic Monthly and Foreign Affairs. In order to protect himself and others, the author chose to have this book published under a pseudonym.From Booklist:
Shirley says he left the employ of the CIA before sneaking into Iran in 1994, so this is, more accurately, an ex-spy's journey. Although his old bosses, whom Shirley regards as time-serving incompetents, occasionally enter the stage, the main actors are the half dozen Persian personalities Shirley encounters on his brief, high-tension trip. Inside a concealed compartment of a truck, Shirley smuggled himself across the Turkish-Iranian border and made his way to Tabriz and Tehran. He was driven and guided by Hosein, from Iranian Azerbaijan, and met Hosein's various friends and relatives. In between expressive observations on Persian customs, mannerisms, and attitudes toward himself as an American, Shirley posits apt meditations about Persian and Shiite history, which all combine into an unusually interesting travelogue. Exotica are part of the attraction, but the undertone of furtive movement and danger of exposure seals the reading deal. Well written besides, this a remarkable and rare glimpse into the opinions of ordinary Iranians about the U.S. and the theocracy they live under. Gilbert Taylor
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Descripción Westview Press, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. book. Nº de ref. de la librería M0813335884
Descripción Westview Press, 1998. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Never used!. Nº de ref. de la librería P110813335884
Descripción Westview Press. PAPERBACK. Estado de conservación: New. 0813335884 New Condition. Nº de ref. de la librería NEW7.2029232