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Masoud: Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel Paperback – 2 Feb 2004

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Product details

  • Paperback: 473 pages
  • Publisher: Saqi Books (2 Feb. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863563740
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863563744
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.3 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 914,592 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Brilliant … an extraordinary book.' -- The Independent

'Masoud reads as a long letter of love, and of explanation, to the wife he has for ever lost.' -- Times Literary Supplement

'This book is a masterpiece and a must-read for anyone interested in such subjects as sects, thought-control, terrorism and totalitarianism.' -- Al-Sharq Al-Awsat

‘A remarkable book that resounds with the suffering of the human condition ... demands to be read.’ -- Fred Halliday

About the Author

Masoud Banisadr was born in Tehran in 1953. In 1976 he travelled to the UK where he obtained an MSc in Engineering and Mathematics from Reading University, and later joined the People's Mojahedin of Iran at the onset of the Islamic Revolution. He defected from the organization in 1996 and now lives in London.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 23 Sept. 2005
Format: Paperback
A really interesting book that takes the lid off the Mujahidin-e Khalq, an Iranian revolutionary group that evolved from being anti-US to a cult courting the US to help it attack the Islamic Republic. He exposes the MEK for its role in supporting Saddam Hussein and in managing its members to the point of insisting they divorce.
A personal account, but all the stronger for that.
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By robert hindhaugh on 17 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I know the author well his book is well written and a fascinating story. Would highly recommend and can vouch that all he has written is fact.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A must read for Mojahedin members and supporters 10 Oct. 2005
By Afshin Azad - Published on
Format: Paperback
The main lesson from this book: Life is not black or white but an array of colours and shades. No one is absolute but God. The day you loose your thoughts, this is when you loose it all. Must relay on the people, like Mossadegh, Ghandi, Mandela, and not any absolutist organization for change and for freedom. Life is beautiful, cherish it.

Just read it.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Desperately needed book 9 Aug. 2005
By William of Albemarle - Published on
Format: Paperback
Far too many Americans operate from the mindset that the "enemy of my enemy must be my friend." As such, still sore over the hostage crisis of a quarter century ago, and inclined to believe the worst accounts about Iran, simple Americans, conservative to liberal, leading Congressman to Faux News devotees, have been willing to believe the absurd claims about the Islamic Republic emanating from the Islamic Marxist CULT known to many as the People's Mujahedin of Iran.

As a result, we have "armies" of unthinking Mooj stooges around the USA willing to quote this and that Mooj source as fact. As the "thinking" goes, well, even if it the claim is something other than true, well, who cares - it serves the same desired "cause" - regime change in Iran. Fact is, it is counterproductive to such ends, on nationalist grounds, as few Iranians can stomach supporting an organization that served the ends of Saddam Hussein in his long war against Iran. (The Mooj are still based in Iraq - under de facto US encirclement, over objections from Iraqi leaders)

I know of no reputable INDEPENDENT scholarly observer of Iran who has EVER given credibility, at face value, to the claims emanating from the PMOI/MEK/Mooj.... Ervand Abrahamian is by the best scholar on the subject, yet there are others.

The US State Department has issued periodic reports on the Mooj - and for twelve years plus has been bold enough to call a spade a spade - and issue reports concluding that the PMOI is and remains a terrorist organization. Of course, Mooj defenders and certain neocon players have been claiming that its those State Department "liberals" at it again, and that their brand of the Mooj was merely for "political reasons" as they wanted to "appease" Iran.

Utter rubbish, to anybody with a clue about Iranian realities. Ex-Senator Torricelli (D-NJ) was forced to withdraw from his reelection campaign in part because he was exposed as a Mooj stooge - something less than politically correct after 9/11 and the presumed "war on terror." Other rising politicians, both Republican and Democrat, have also been tempted to take seriously Mooj claims. More seasoned hands know better.

Curiously, even some neocon figures are out now claiming that they "hate" the Mooj and their activities. Even (so-so)Rob Sobhani, the Pretender's (Shah) presumed foreign minister-in-waiting once warned of associations with the Mooj. (something some Monarchists have forgotten of late)

So what's the fuss? This book is a critical start to getting behind the standard propaganda waves behind the PMOI curtain. Yes, its a compelling personal story of Banisadr's political sojourn. I was a bit frustrated that his valuable analytical insights about the PMOI are often burried within long personal missives. I was particularly struck to read his account of the horrendous role of the female "handlers" within the PMOI. Here we had Banisadr acting as a key propagandist for the PMOI in foreign capitals, and yet his every movement, action, writing, and even his personal thinking was subject to "ideological" critiques by his "handlers."

In short, no thinking liberal or conservative (that includes you John Hughes) should be willing to quote any "fact" coming from the Mooj without careful checking and corroboration from sources separate from the Mooj. Banisadr's book, despite its minor flaws, provides a critical and moving eye-opener for anyone in the West contemplating how their own governments are being manipulated by ruthless expatriate pressure groups - in this case, vis-a-vis Iran.
A little moany after page 200 6 Sept. 2014
By Maria La Russa - Published on
Format: Paperback
Well ... the last 200 pages of the 475-page book are meaningless and moany. The first part (before page 250) is interesting, though. The book does have some merit as it gives a personal account of a man from inside the organisation. Timeline is quite poor, though. It needs more clear dates to understand what is going on and progression. Has too much philosophysing on life and "I took a plane ...; when I returned ...; when I went to the meeting", which made me lose interest quickly.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Time Will Tell 22 Mar. 2005
By F D Parsa - Published on
Format: Paperback
According to Masoud, from those early days of their struggle the organization ran itself like a cult. Members were not allowed to read anyththing except that the organization gave them to read. They were told how to behave and how to think both publicly and privately. Any one with an opinion was ostracized.

Masoud Banisadr gives good account of the Mujahedin operating outside of Iran and their initial popularity with some Western governments and freedom fighters around the world. He expounds on their mililary wing, NLA, and how they conducted their attacks into Iranian territories, believing that they could advance all the way to Tehran which later proved to be just a grand illusion.

As Masoud missed his chances time and again to leave the organization, he misses a vital opportunity again in the book to redeem himself by denouncing violence. Twentieth century has produced remarkable political leaders like Gahndhi, Martin Luther King, Bishop Tutu and Nelson Mandela who acheived so much through non-violonce and civil disobedience that there is no justification for human sacrifice in order to achieve liberty.

The book should have been called the The Memoirs of an Unrepented Iranian Rebel.
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