The Israeli Republic

An Iranian Revolutionary's Journey to the Jewish State

Translated by Samuel Thrope and Samuel Thrope
LIST PRICE $17.99
About The Book

The Israeli Republic "suggests how the Iranian and Israeli leaders who feel such intense mutual hostility today actually mirror one another in certain ways, particularly in their foundational attitudes toward religious authority, political and economic populism and the West. That a writer such as Al-e Ahmad, guru to the ayatollahs, liked Israel now seems touching. What he liked about Israel seems cautionary." —Bernard Avishai, Foreign Affairs

Written by a preeminent Iranian writer who helped lay the popular groundwork for the Iranian Revolution, The Israeli Republic should be required reading for anyone interested in the history and current political landscape of the Middle East. Documenting Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s two-week-long trip to Israel in February of 1963, his account “Journey to the Land of Israel” caused a firestorm when it was published in Iran, upsetting the very revolutionary clerics whose anti-Western sentiments Al-e Ahmad himself had fueled.  Yet, in the thriving Jewish State, Jalal Al-e Ahmad saw a model for a possible future Iran.

Based on his controversial travelogue, supplemented with letters between the author and his wife, Simin Daneshvar (the first major Iranian woman novelist), and translated into English for the first time, The Israeli Republic is a record of Al-e Ahmad’s idealism, insight, and ultimate disillusionment toward Israel. Vibrantly modern in its sensibility and fearlessly polemical, this book will change the way you think about the Middle East.

Product Details
  • Publisher: Restless Books (January 2017)
  • Length: 194 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781632061393

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Raves and Reviews

"My intellectual hero."

—Reza Aslan, author of Zealot and No god but God

"The travelogue conjures up a long-lost era of calmness and curiosity between Iranians and Israelis, as well as the naive yet potent Third World ideology so common in developing countries at the time. But it is important for what it says, not just for what it represents. It suggests how the Iranian and Israeli leaders who feel such intense mutual hostility today actually mirror one another in certain ways, particularly in their foundational attitudes toward religious authority, political and economic populism and the West. That a writer such as Al-e Ahmad, guru to the ayatollahs, liked Israel now seems touching. What he liked about Israel seems cautionary."

—Bernard Avishai, Foreign Affairs

“One of Iran’s leading writers and social critics.”

— The New York Times

“Prominent Iranian writer Jalal Al-e Ahmad visited Israel before his country’s Islamic Revolution, seeing in the State of Israel a model for Islamic Iran. His words are especially significant today . . . The Israeli Republic should indeed be on required reading lists in both Israel and Iran.”

—Ellis Shuman, The Times of Israel

“Remarkable travelogue of an Iranian revolutionary in Israel . . . The Israeli Republic, based on [Jalal Al-e Ahmad’s] controversial travelogue, is a record of his idealism, insight, and ultimate disillusionment towards Israel. Far from a historical relic, this surprisingly modern book will change the way you think about current events. The Israeli Republic should be required reading for Israelis, Iranians, and anyone interested in the ongoing conflict between them.”

The Arab Daily News

“A rare and fascinating read."

—The New Inquiry

"Before the Islamic revolution, the two countries traded, quietly cooperated on defense projects and enjoyed some cultural ties. Few remember today that a celebrated Iranian author, who some consider to be Iran’s Ernest Hemingway, traveled to Israel and wrote a book about his visit."

—PRI's The World

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