In criticising this book, I concentrate on one simple, but highly revealing, glaring factual mistake. Coughlin assets (p309 hardback edition) that Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, Shirin Ebadi, received the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature for her book `Iran Awakening'. Coughlin's text implies a degree of familiarity with Ebadi's book and includes it in his Select Bibliography. Ebadi was in fact awarded the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, an event she describes in `Iran Awakening.'
The awarding of a Nobel Prize is a publicised, easily checked fact. Yet Coughlin gets it wrong. Such a brazen factual error implies; (i) Coughlin hasn't read his own bibliography, (ii) he doesn't unduly trouble himself with the factual accuracy of his text, (iii) the absence of any basic fact checking during the publisher's editorial process, (iv) the writer has clearly not followed post-revolutionary Iranian affairs as closely as he would have us believe. High-profile international recognition of Ebadi's work was a source of great pride and celebration for many ordinary Iranians. I would expect the publisher's proclaimed expert of world-renown to know such things.
There are other fundamental factual errors in this book, some of which are referred to in the earlier reviews. These, together with the error addressed in this review, leave the reader with a simple question; if Coughlin can't, or doesn't choose, to get a simple fact correct, how much trust should we place in the rest of his text?