Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Book Review - We Heard the Heavens Then: A Memoir of Iran

Commentary By Ron Beasley

Image001I receive several opportunities a month to do book reviews.  I turn most of them down in spite of the fact it means I won't get a free book.  I almost decided against reviewing We Heard the Heavens Then: A Memoir of Iran but eventually agreed.  After reading the first few pages I knew I had made the right decision.

We Heard The Heavens Then by Aria Minu-Sepher is the story of the last few years of Shah�s Iranian monarchy and the revolution that brought it down as seen through the eyes of a young boy who's father was a powerful general in the Shah's air force.  The author has had decades in the United States to think about what happened and presents us with a measured and fair account of social-political reality that led up to the revolution.

There are several characters in this story both family members and others.    Aria Minu-Sepher grew up in a privileged world.  As we might say now he was part of the one percent.  His mother is mentioned but it is rarely a flattering picture.  She was proud of the fact she was part of the aristocracy.  His father, �Baba,�  plays a key part in the narrative.  A very competent pilot and General who adores his son and attempts to mold his son in his own image.  In a way this book is a tribute to his father.  The rest of the authors extended family represent an eclectic mix of Iranian society.  The household staff  also plays a part but none more than the housekeeper �Bubbi.�  She is a very conservative Muslim, a classic member of the Iranian 99%.  She is offended by Western influence.  She objects to serving wine, shrimp and ham.  She objects to automobiles and thinks the F14 fighters the General commands are straight from the devil.  We get the impression that she represents a lot of the 99%.

The author paints a picture of an Iran that is not just divided along 1% - 99% line but also on a secular � pious line, but there is a great deal of overlap.  Much of Iran was not enjoying the miracles from the west but they didn't want to.   I think that we can see some of the problems we are having in Afghanistan � a majority who simply don't want to be forced into a secular world. 

Normally this subject matter would be rather dry but this book is an enjoyable and easy read because it is made up primarily of personal anecdotes.  I highly recommend this book.


I received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Cross posted at The Moderate Voice

1 comment:

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