Book Review #68: Secret Notes From Iran – Diary of An Undercover Journalist

Name: Secret Notes From Iran – Diary of An Undercover Journalist
Author: Nadim Siraj
No. of Pages: 146
Genre: Non-fiction/Geopolitics/War/Iran
Publisher: Platinum Press (an imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 199/- 
Published in: 2019 
 
How did I get it? From the publisher. 
 
THE BLURB SAYS: 
Secret Notes From Iran is the first-person account of a journalist who travelled through Iran, disguised as a casual tourist, during the stormy US-Iran stand-off in the summer of 2017. With Iran now facing the possibility of a full-scale war with the US, the book features critical geopolitical analysis of Iran’s position in the current world order. The reader is taken across the length and breadth of the country, and the iconic Iranian settings serve as venues of illuminating conversations with Iranian locals about their predicament.
 
The narrative is accompanied by exclusive photographs taken in Tehran, Shiraz, Isfahan, Persepolis, Bandar Abbas and several other locations. The book comprises revealing first-hand observations, analyses of oil politics, a heady dose of war talk, a close look at sensitive social issues, and powerful interviews of world-renowned geopolitical writer and Iran expert, Vijay Prashad, and celebrated anti-hijab Iranian activist and writer, Masih Alinejad.
 
This book reflects the deeply conflicted times we live in, filled with equal measures of uplifting promise and dangerous portent.The book also features a powerful interview with Noam Chomsky, the most prominent political scientist of our times, on the US-Iran standoff.
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nadim Siraj is a journalist who has spent his career collecting compelling stories across India, West Asia, Africa and Europe. He has worked at the Indian Express, The Statesman and the Muscat Daily. Currently based in New Delhi NCR, he researches critical international issues and West Asian oil politics. He is also a passionate photojournalist and has authored the book, Into the Sunset: Rediscovering Greece, a narrative of the Greek financial crisis. As a correspondent he has travelled extensively, covering issues like the socio-economic collapse of Greece, urban poverty in Kenya, life in pre-revolution Egypt, post-apartheid South Africa, and Nepalese life under Maoist control.
 
Nadim is also a passionate phot-journalist and has exhibited his work at photo exhibitions in India. His first book, Into the Sunset: Rediscovering Greece, a travelogue with the Greek financial crisis as its backdrop, was published as an e-book. Currently based in New Delhi NCR, Nadim researches critical international issues and West Asian oil politics. He can be reached at: nsjourno@gmail.com.
 
 
MY THOUGHTS: 
Given the current situation in Iran, and its relations with the west, this book comes with insightful content. It gives an insider’s point of view on Iran’s history with the west and the east.
 
The author has presented to the reader facts about Iran’s political scenario, its policies to protect local economy and brave steps to stand up to domineering western economies.The author has thrown light on the lesser known petrodollar theory, which seems to be the base of  the US’s policies and actions in the world economy.
 
The book also attempts to answer the question that what the fuss is all about between Iran and the US, and why they are acting the way they are with each other.
 
The author has interacted with many locals in Iran and presented a glimpse into the life of a common man Iran, which makes the information relatable. The author has also roped in Noam Chomsky for an interesting interview. An interview with Masi Alinejad, the woman behind “My Stealthy Freedom” campaign (against the compulsory headscarf dress-code for Iranian women), is also featured in the book.The book urges the reader to see Iran in the light of facts and figures, and not how the western media has been presenting it over the years.
 
In a nutshell, the book is an insightful read.
 
I give “Secret Notes From Iran – Diary of An Undercover Journalist” 
 

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