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John Ghazvinian
University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, PA 19104-6205)
Children of the Revolution: Iran and America since 1600

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.

Project fields:
Diplomatic History; International Relations; Near and Middle Eastern History

Public Scholars

Research Programs

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2016 – 8/31/2017