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Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies

Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

Barbara Slavin

St. Martin's Griffin

In Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies, Barbara Slavin untangles the love-hate relationship between Iran and the United States that has brought the two countries to the brink of war. Slavin reveals that relations between Washington and Tehran have been riddled with contradictions for decades and details missed opportunities for reconciliation under both the Clinton and Bush administrations, including diplomatic rebuffs to Iran in Bush’s first term based on the mistaken belief that the U.S. invasion of Iraq would weaken Iran's Islamic government.  On e of the few reporters to interview high-profile Iranian officials, including Iran’s current and last two presidents,  Slavin describes all the key constituencies in Iran society from the clerics, to the Revolutionary Guards, to reformers and Iranian youth. She unveils Iran and shows it to be a country that both adores and fears the United States. Despite government propaganda that portrays the U.S. as the "Great Satan," many Iranians have come to idolize staples of American pop culture while holding on to their own traditions. The United States, on the other hand, has demonized Iran as a member of an “axis of evil” that supports terrorists and represses its own people who, in the words of U.S. officials, “deserve better.”  As Iran moves toward becoming a nuclear power, Slavin believes that the power brokers in Washington may be suffering from the same lack of understanding and foresight that led the U.S. into prolonged warfare in Iraq. Distrustful of each other's intentions yet longing at some level to reconcile, neither Tehran nor Washington knows how this story will end. Anyone interested in understanding the dynamics of this pivotal international relationship will find Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies a crucial and compelling read.

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Excerpt 
It was a gorgeous day for a demonstration. 
  The mild February air, unusually clear of smog, made the mood more like that of a picnic than a protest. Hundreds of people walked in long columns toward Tehran’s Freedom Square, where a towering, arched, white concrete monument erected by Iran’s deposed leader, the shah, commemorated twenty-five hundred years of Iran’s existence as a unified nation. Peddlers hawked candy and red balloons, while organizers from the government passed out anti-American posters and green headbands proclaiming Iran’s
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  • Barbara Slavin speaks to the National Iranian American Council

    Watch this video to hear Barbara Slavin, author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies, talk about US-Iran relations at the National Iranian American Council's conference on Capitol Hill, April 8 2008.

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REVIEWS

Praise for Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies

Praise for Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies
 
"Rarely has a book been more necessary or more timely. Drawing on decades of experience in the Middle East, Barbara Slavin has produced a masterful study of today's Iran. From the dusty streets of Qum to the highest government offices, Slavin has used her finely honed reporter's instinct to gain access to every level of Iranian society. Often surprising, always accessible, it is an indispensible book for anyone concerned with the direction of United States foreign policy."-- Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of March
 
Praise for Barbara Slavin
 
"Barbara Slavin has had a unique opportunity to follow the difficult recent history of the United States and Iran and extraordinary access to high-level officials on both sides. She is a seasoned journalist and foreign policy expert whose insights about Iran should help Americans understand Iran and U.S. options for dealing with a fascinating, complicated, and crucial country."--Madeleine Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State
 
"Barbara Slavin is uniquely qualified to address in-depth and with insight a uniquely complex and significant challenge facing U.S. foreign policy."  --Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. National Security Advisor
 
 "I know Barbara Slavin as an accomplished, well-sourced journalist, who not only has a way with written words, but is equally eloquent when discussing foreign affairs during her frequent appearances on television."--Caryle Murphy, Washington Post reporter and author of Passion for Islam

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Barbara Slavin

  • BARBARA SLAVIN is a former senior diplomatic correspondent f or USA Today and a regular commentator on foreign affairs for C-Span, National Public Radio and the Public Broadcasting System. She lives in Washington, DC.

  • Barbara Slavin

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Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies

Iran, the U.S., and the Twisted Path to Confrontation

Barbara Slavin

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St. Martin's Griffin

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