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How did the US and Iran lapse from a once-friendly relationship to that of hostile enemies?
Historian John Ghazvinian joins us via livestream to discuss the answer, the two-centuries-long entwined histories of Iran and America. With support from his book America and Iran: A History, 1720 to Present, he shares years of archival research to lead us through the four seasons of US-Iran relations: the “spring” of mutual fascination; the “summer” of early interactions; the “autumn” of close strategic ties; and the long, dark “winter” of mutual hatred. He traces the complex story of the relations back to the Persian Empire—the subject of great admiration of Thomas Jefferson and John Quincy Adams—and an America seen by Iranians as an ideal to emulate for their own government. He elucidates where, how, and when it all went wrong—and shows how it didn’t have to turn out this way.
John Ghazvinian is a journalist and historian. His writing has appeared in Newsweek, the Sunday Times, The New Statesman, Slate, and The Nation. He is the Executive Director of the Middle East Center at the University of Pennsylvania. He was born in Iran and raised in London and Los Angeles.
Presented by Town Hall Seattle.