About the Book
This is the first of a projected six-volume collection, covering four turbulent decades of Iran’s history. The twelve original handwritten notebooks begin in 1926 with Shadman’s days as a cleric and end in 1966 shortly before his death. In between is a rich tapestry of accounts of daily events, reflections, observations, accounts of dreams, cultural and political history, anecdotes, and telling details about the country’s changing history of manners, all from the astute perspective of Shadman. Seyyed Fakhr al-Din Shadman was born in Tehran in 1907 to a family whose economic comfort came from the inherited wea-lth of the mother, and whose tolerant piety came from the father, a cleric both forbearing and fervent in his religious beliefs. Fakhr al-Din went from a traditional school (maktab) to a high school, on to a teacher’s college and finally to the Faculty of Law, where in 1927 he received his law degree. By then he was fluent in Arabic, French, and English. After several years of teaching and tutoring in Iran and working as a journalist and an editor at a leftist publication, and after working in the newly established Ministry of Justice, Shadman left for Europe. He spent seventeen years abroad, mostly in England, working for the Iranian government as its representative in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Com-pany (AIOC). He also continued his education and received two doctoral degrees-one from the University of Paris in 1935 in Law and Political Science, and another in 1939 from the London School of Economics in History.The diaries bring to light not only a detailed account of why the early generation of intellectuals advocating modernity joined the Pahlavi project and how almost all of them were sidelined, but also how Shadman used his diaries for literary experimentation and private self expression. The cont-ours of Shadman’s eventful and consequential life are covered in detail in his daily journals.