100 books like Iranophobia

By Haggai Ram,

Here are 100 books that Iranophobia fans have personally recommended if you like Iranophobia. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, 11: Culture, Politics, and the Formation of a Modern Diaspora

Lior B. Sternfeld Author Of Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran

From my list on Jewish histories of the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always felt that Middle Eastern studies is different from other fields of history. Its ever-presence in our life, the news cycle, religious life, political life, yet, because of language barriers and other filters, there’s a gap in knowledge that is highly conspicuous when forming one’s opinion. When I started my academic training, I felt like I was swimming in this ocean of histories that were completely unknown to me. I studied the Jewish histories of the region only later in my training and found that this gap is even more visible when talking about the history of Jews in the Middle East, because of misconceptions of antisemitism, the Israel-Palestine conflict, political tilt of media outlet, and more. For me, entering this field was a way to understand long-term processes in my own society, and expand the body of scholarship to enrich the public conversation on top of the academic one.

Lior's book list on Jewish histories of the Middle East

Lior B. Sternfeld Why did Lior love this book?

Until two decades ago, the historiographical school of Jewish pasts in the Middle East was broadly aligned with what we call the neo-lachrymose approach. This approach usually examines the Jewish communities in the MENA region as if they lived in isolation from the non-Jewish majority society. Beinin’s book paved the way to profoundly different directions in studying the Jewish communities of Egypt and the region. Beinin analyzed the various Jewish communities that existed in Egypt (primarily prior to 1956), placed them in the context of global, regional, and Egyptian national history. Moreover, he forever dismantled the notion that we can essentialize the life, experience, and narratives of almost 1 million MENA Jews and have one simple account in the output.

By Joel Beinin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry, 11 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this provocative and wide-ranging history, Joel Beinin examines fundamental questions of ethnic identity by focusing on the Egyptian Jewish community since 1948. A complex and heterogeneous people, Egyptian Jews have become even more diverse as their diaspora continues to the present day. Central to Beinin's study is the question of how people handle multiple identities and loyalties that are dislocated and reformed by turbulent political and cultural processes. It is a question he grapples with himself, and his reflections on his experiences as an American Jew in Israel and Egypt offer a candid, personal perspective on the hazards of…


Book cover of New Babylonians: A History of Jews in Modern Iraq

Lior B. Sternfeld Author Of Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran

From my list on Jewish histories of the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always felt that Middle Eastern studies is different from other fields of history. Its ever-presence in our life, the news cycle, religious life, political life, yet, because of language barriers and other filters, there’s a gap in knowledge that is highly conspicuous when forming one’s opinion. When I started my academic training, I felt like I was swimming in this ocean of histories that were completely unknown to me. I studied the Jewish histories of the region only later in my training and found that this gap is even more visible when talking about the history of Jews in the Middle East, because of misconceptions of antisemitism, the Israel-Palestine conflict, political tilt of media outlet, and more. For me, entering this field was a way to understand long-term processes in my own society, and expand the body of scholarship to enrich the public conversation on top of the academic one.

Lior's book list on Jewish histories of the Middle East

Lior B. Sternfeld Why did Lior love this book?

Iraq was home to about 150,000 Jews until 1948-1951. Baghdad was a very much Jewish city. Iraqi Jews were very assimilated, but there was very little known about the political and social history of Iraqi Jews beyond the Zionist story. While many of the Iraqi Jews did indeed view Zionism as a viable solution for them, overlooking Jewish involvement in Iraqi national and communist organizations misses several of the most fascinating transformations of any Jewish community in the world. In this book, Bashkin analyzed the social, cultural, and national participation of Iraqi Jews from within the perspective of Iraqi society. Interestingly, many of the patterns continued even after their migration to Israel.

By Orit Bashkin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked New Babylonians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Although Iraqi Jews saw themselves as Iraqi patriots, their community-which had existed in Iraq for more than 2,500 years-was displaced following the establishment of the state of Israel. New Babylonians chronicles the lives of these Jews, their urban Arab culture, and their hopes for a democratic nation-state. It studies their ideas about Judaism, Islam, secularism, modernity, and reform, focusing on Iraqi Jews who internalized narratives of Arab and Iraqi nationalisms and on those who turned to communism in the 1940s. As the book reveals, the ultimate displacement of this community was not the result of a perpetual persecution on the…


Book cover of Ottoman Brothers: Muslims, Christians, and Jews in Early Twentieth-Century Palestine

Lior B. Sternfeld Author Of Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran

From my list on Jewish histories of the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always felt that Middle Eastern studies is different from other fields of history. Its ever-presence in our life, the news cycle, religious life, political life, yet, because of language barriers and other filters, there’s a gap in knowledge that is highly conspicuous when forming one’s opinion. When I started my academic training, I felt like I was swimming in this ocean of histories that were completely unknown to me. I studied the Jewish histories of the region only later in my training and found that this gap is even more visible when talking about the history of Jews in the Middle East, because of misconceptions of antisemitism, the Israel-Palestine conflict, political tilt of media outlet, and more. For me, entering this field was a way to understand long-term processes in my own society, and expand the body of scholarship to enrich the public conversation on top of the academic one.

Lior's book list on Jewish histories of the Middle East

Lior B. Sternfeld Why did Lior love this book?

Students of Middle East studies learn a lot about Ottoman history, specifically about the Ottoman Empire's last decades, before WWI. But historians gave very little attention to the Arab provinces of the empire in comparison to Istanbul and the imperial center. In this book, Campos presented the fascinating case of Ottoman Palestine. Campos shows the most convincing rebuttal for the theories that attributed no Ottoman identity in the peripheries. The fantastic picture of Jerusalem during the last years of the empire can teach us a lot about the relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Palestine, the understanding of national and imperial frameworks at the turn of the century, and the optimistic reader may find ideas to deadlock conflicts in the 21st century.

By Michelle U. Campos,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ottoman Brothers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In its last decade, the Ottoman Empire underwent a period of dynamic reform, and the 1908 revolution transformed the empire's 20 million subjects into citizens overnight. Questions quickly emerged about what it meant to be Ottoman, what bound the empire together, what role religion and ethnicity would play in politics, and what liberty, reform, and enfranchisement would look like. Ottoman Brothers explores the development of Ottoman collective identity, tracing how Muslims, Christians, and Jews became imperial citizens together. In Palestine, even against the backdrop of the emergence of the Zionist movement and Arab nationalism, Jews and Arabs cooperated in local…


Book cover of Memories of Absence: How Muslims Remember Jews in Morocco

Lior B. Sternfeld Author Of Between Iran and Zion: Jewish Histories of Twentieth-Century Iran

From my list on Jewish histories of the Middle East.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always felt that Middle Eastern studies is different from other fields of history. Its ever-presence in our life, the news cycle, religious life, political life, yet, because of language barriers and other filters, there’s a gap in knowledge that is highly conspicuous when forming one’s opinion. When I started my academic training, I felt like I was swimming in this ocean of histories that were completely unknown to me. I studied the Jewish histories of the region only later in my training and found that this gap is even more visible when talking about the history of Jews in the Middle East, because of misconceptions of antisemitism, the Israel-Palestine conflict, political tilt of media outlet, and more. For me, entering this field was a way to understand long-term processes in my own society, and expand the body of scholarship to enrich the public conversation on top of the academic one.

Lior's book list on Jewish histories of the Middle East

Lior B. Sternfeld Why did Lior love this book?

When we talk about the need to read Jewish history in the Middle East within its original context, and within the understanding that Jews lived among non-Jews, interacted with non-Jews, and had a tremendous influence on their respective societies, from time to time, we need to change the perspective and see how their non-Jewish compatriots viewed them and remember them. In this book, Aomar Boum recorded the ways in which the Muslims of Morocco remember the large Jewish communities that lived in that country for millennia and shrunk to a fraction of their former self after 1956-1967. This book allows us to examine multiple perspectives simultaneously. The national and colonial identities, the essence of Middle Eastern Zionism, and the place of the memory of Jews after they had left in the modern societies.

By Aomar Boum,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Memories of Absence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

There is a Moroccan saying: A market without Jews is like bread without salt. Once a thriving community, by the late 1980s, 240,000 Jews had emigrated from Morocco. Today, fewer than 4,000 Jews remain. Despite a centuries-long presence, the Jewish narrative in Moroccan history has largely been suppressed through national historical amnesia, Jewish absence, and a growing dismay over the Palestinian conflict.

Memories of Absence investigates how four successive generations remember the lost Jewish community. Moroccan attitudes toward the Jewish population have changed over the decades, and a new debate has emerged at the center of the Moroccan nation: Where…


Book cover of Uncivil Agreement: How Politics Became Our Identity

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Author Of Wrong: How Media, Politics, and Identity Drive Our Appetite for Misinformation

From my list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a professor of communication and political science who’s been researching and publishing on the effects of political media on democratic health for 25 years. More recently, I’ve been trying to understand the roots of inter-party hostility, the drop in trust in institutions, and the rise in Americans’ belief in breathtakingly false information. My hope is that through this selection of books, you’ll start to understand the synergistic dynamics between America’s complicated history with race, changes in America’s parties, media, and culture, and various social psychological processes, and maybe even start to see a way out of this mess.

Dannagal's book list on understanding identity-driven wrongness in the United States

Dannagal Goldthwaite Young Why did Dannagal love this book?

I literally could not have written my book without Mason’s incredible empirical work documented in this book. 

Yes, this is an academic book, but Mason is engaging, clear, and masterful in her use of charts and graphs to illustrate what “social sorting” is and what it does. Whenever I explain to people how America’s political parties have come to represent not just different sets of policy positions but two very different types of people, I picture Mason’s charts and graphs in my head!

There are a few books that I cannot put back on my bookshelf because I cite them too often and have decided they just need to stay right on my desk, Lily Mason’s is at the top of this pile.

By Lilliana Mason,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Uncivil Agreement as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Political polarization in America is at an all-time high, and the conflict has moved beyond disagreements about matters of policy. For the first time in more than twenty years, research has shown that members of both parties hold strongly unfavorable views of their opponents. This is polarization rooted in social identity, and it is growing. The campaign and election of Donald Trump laid bare this fact of the American electorate, its successful rhetoric of "us versus them" tapping into a powerful current of anger and resentment. With Uncivil Agreement, Lilliana Mason looks at the growing social gulf across racial, religious,…


Book cover of The Power of Us: Harnessing Our Shared Identities for Personal and Collective Success

Helge Thorbjørnsen Author Of More Numbers Every Day: How Data, Stats, and Figures Control Our Lives and How to Set Ourselves Free

From my list on who and what influences our thoughts and behavior.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated and intrigued by human behavior and decision-making. What influences our thoughts and behavior and why? In hindsight, I probably should have majored in psychology instead of business, but as a business school professor I still get to investigate all the little quirks and biases of the human mind. I live in Bergen, Norway and devote much of my time researching and teaching consumer psychology and decision-making. I hope you find some inspiration in this list of brilliant books!   

Helge's book list on who and what influences our thoughts and behavior

Helge Thorbjørnsen Why did Helge love this book?

This is a book about (social) identity and how our understanding of self is derived from the social groups we are part of.

Two brilliant psychologists, Jay Van Bavel and Dominic Packer, use their own research and insights from social psychology and neuroscience to explain how identity really works and how it influences our thinking and doing every single day.

The book really makes you think about how our social nature impacts on all kinds of decision-making, and it will give you new ideas and insights about power and influence. 

By Jay Van Bavel, Dominic J. Packer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Power of Us as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

If you're like most people, you probably believe that your identity is stable. But in fact, your identity is constantly changing - often outside your conscious awareness and sometimes even against your wishes - to reflect the interests of the groups of which you're a part. And that fluid identity has a powerful influence over your feelings, beliefs, and behaviours.

In THE POWER OF US, psychologists Packer and Van Bavel integrate their own cutting-edge research in psychology, neuroscience and economics to explain what identity really is and show how to harness its dynamic nature to:

Increase our productivity - Improve…


Book cover of Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People

Kurt Mortensen Author Of The Laws of Charisma: How to Captivate, Inspire, and Influence for Maximum Success

From my list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic.

Why am I passionate about this?

Kurt Mortensen is an international authority on charisma, negotiation, and influence. Kurt has spent over 20 years researching influence, leadership, sales, persuasive presentations, and he teaches at the university level. Kurt is the author of Persuasion IQ, Laws of Charisma, and the best-selling book Maximum Influence. His books have been translated into 28 languages. He is also the host of the popular podcast Maximize Your Influence. Mortensen teaches that professional success, personal relationships, and leadership all depend on the ability to persuade, influence, and motivate others. The key is to get others to want to do, what you want them to do and like doing it. 

Kurt's book list on how to inspire, influence, and become more charismatic

Kurt Mortensen Why did Kurt love this book?

Vanessa calls herself a human behavior investigator. She talks about the formula for charisma and how to read people. These critical influence tools help people adapt their ability to bond with people and persuade them how they want to be persuaded. This book gives you the hacks to influence better and faster. I love how she focuses on first impressions. We all know that the first impression is critical to having charisma and connecting with people.

By Vanessa Van Edwards,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Captivate as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Do you feel awkward at networking events? Do you wonder what your date really thinks of you? Do you wish you could decode people? You need to learn the science of people.
 
As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. And she’s cracked the code. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation. These aren’t the people skills you learned in school. This is the first comprehensive, science backed, real life manual on…


Book cover of A Short History of Decay

Amin Samman Author Of History in Financial Times

From my list on philosophy challenging how you think about history.

Why am I passionate about this?

There are so many different ways of thinking and writing about history. I first noticed this while studying at university, when I saw just how different economic history looked from other kinds of history. I later learned that all kinds of historical writing are forms of literature, only they are rarely recognized as such. I am now a university professor and this is my area of expertise: the overlap between the philosophy of history and economics. The books on this list are great examples of unusual or ‘weird’ works on history that challenge some of our deepest assumptions about what history is and how best to think or write about it.

Amin's book list on philosophy challenging how you think about history

Amin Samman Why did Amin love this book?

This book is the most relentlessly pessimistic book I have ever read. It will help you overcome optimism. The volume is comprised mostly of short aphorisms, each with their own title, and I’d say the titles alone are worth the price of entry. But more to the point, there is a fantastic essay in the middle called "Faces of Decadence," which tells the story of history as a story of decay and decline. It’s a familiar refrain, but I think the version that appears here is among the best. Certainly the most stylish.

By E. M. Cioran, Richard Howard (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Short History of Decay as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

E. M. Cioran confronts the place of today's world in the context of human history-focusing on such major issues of the twentieth century as human progress, fanaticism, and science-in this nihilistic and witty collection of aphoristic essays concerning the nature of civilization in mid-twentieth-century Europe. Touching upon Man's need to worship, the feebleness of God, the downfall of the Ancient Greeks and the melancholy baseness of all existence, Cioran's pieces are pessimistic in the extreme, but also display a beautiful certainty that renders them delicate, vivid, and memorable. Illuminating and brutally honest, A Short History of Decay dissects Man's decadence…


Book cover of Intimate Alien: The Hidden Story of the UFO

Marc Hartzman Author Of We Are Not Alone: The Extraordinary History of UFOs and Aliens Invading Our Hopes, Fears, and Fantasies

From my list on UFOs to read whether you believe or not.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been fascinated by UFOs since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until I met a Martian in 2016 that I started writing about them. To be more specific, I stumbled across a bizarre 1926 article about a man in telepathic communication with a Martian named Oomaruru. I then delved deeper into the beliefs about intelligent Martians at that time. It led to my writing The Big Book of Mars, which touched on the UFO phenomena in the 1940s and ‘50s. But knowing there was so much more to explore, I began writing We Are Not Alone, which is now my 8th book. 

Marc's book list on UFOs to read whether you believe or not

Marc Hartzman Why did Marc love this book?

David Halperin is a Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. And an ex-teenage ufologist.

I spoke with him during my research for my book about possible Biblical references to UFOs and aliens. He offers a scholarly perspective on the subject, which you can read much more about in Intimate Alien. The book also follows his personal journey through the subject matter, which began in his youth, and offers fascinating thoughts and insights on this truly unusual phenomenon.

By David J. Halperin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Intimate Alien as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A voyage of exploration to the outer reaches of our inner lives.

UFOs are a myth, says David J. Halperin-but myths are real. The power and fascination of the UFO has nothing to do with space travel or life on other planets. It's about us, our longings and terrors, and especially the greatest terror of all: the end of our existence. This is a book about UFOs that goes beyond believing in them or debunking them and to a fresh understanding of what they tell us about ourselves as individuals, as a culture, and as a species.

In the 1960s,…


Book cover of Healing Collective Trauma: A Process for Integrating Our Intergenerational and Cultural Wounds

Lisa Bonnice Author Of Castle Gate

From my list on exploring ancestral/generational trauma and healing.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a program host with The Shift Network and have interviewed hundreds of experts on the topics of ancestral healing, mediumship, and the “veil between the worlds.” I was drawn to these topics because of my discoveries of ancestral trauma in my family tree, including an ancient curse and a fiery mine disaster. Eventually, I realized we ALL have generational trauma. Just watch the news—we’re all acting out from inherited trauma, and we need to heal our own stuff in order to heal the global condition. I feel like it’s my life’s work to heal my family’s trauma-based dysfunctions and spread the word to others doing the same work.

Lisa's book list on exploring ancestral/generational trauma and healing

Lisa Bonnice Why did Lisa love this book?

Not only do I love Thomas Hübl’s vibe, but I also really appreciate his writing and the way he comprehends the effects of generational trauma. From reading his work, I’m able to see the big picture of humanity and how we must all work together to release global traumas if we’re ever going to get along.

Much of his work focuses on Holocaust victims, survivors, and their families. Even though my family is not directly affected by this horrible chapter in human history, I learned so very much about the dynamics of generational trauma from his work.

By Thomas Hübl, Julie Jordan Avritt,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Healing Collective Trauma as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What can you do when you carry scars not on your body, but within your soul? And what happens when those spiritual wounds exist not just in you, but in everyone in your life?

Whether or not we have experienced personal trauma, we are all - in very real ways - impacted by the legacy of familial and cultural suffering. Recent research has shown that trauma affects groups just as acutely as it does individuals; it bridges families, generations, communities, and borders. "I believe that unresolved systemic traumas delay the development of the human family, harm the natural world, and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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