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"Esfandiari recounts in measured, at times chilling, detail her journey into the bowels of the Iranian intelligence apparatus. Neither the fear nor the fury that she undoubtedly felt compromise the clarity of her observations." --Laura Secor, New York Times (read the entire review here)

"She is restrained in her telling—the book is filled with vivid details and facts, rather than emotional outpouring—a decision for which her narrative is only the more powerful; but her position as someone who fully understands both America and Iran affords her the opportunity to elucidate, for American readers, some of the apparent mysteries of her native culture." --Claire Messud, New York Review of Books [read the entire review here]

"My Prison, My Home is a valuable addition to the accounts written by former dissidents. Not only does Esfandiari add a corrective to the somewhat whitewashed accounts of Iranian history that too often omit the unseemly side of Iranian repression, but as the genre grows, its mass may give strength to others destined, unfortunately, to share Esfandiari's experience." --Anna Borshchevskaya, Middle East Quarterly (read the entire review here)

'What this brave, resolute woman has to say about the country in which she was born and still loves makes powerful, troubling reading." --Philip Jacobson, Daily Mail (read the entire review here)

"[A] gripping memoir. . . . Esfandiari writes with an elegant dryness that serves the book well, since she hardly needs to sensationalize her story." --Bloomberg.com (read the entire review here)

"[Obama's] bedside reading should be Haleh Esfandiari's brilliant, shattering book 'My Prison, My Home,' in which the Wilson Center scholar recounts her own 2007 Evin nightmare." --Roger Cohen, New York Times (read the entire review here)

"[A] profoundly moving memoir . . . this is above all, a story of faith-in the human capacity to withstand mistreatment and in what people working together against tyranny can accomplish." --Nikki Keddie, Ms. Magazine, Fall 2009

"Gripping...[Esfandiari's] book lays bare the paranoid mind-set of a regime convinced that any internal protest is part of a Western plot to organize a so-called "velvet revolution" like the mass revolts that brought down leaders of some former communist countries." --Trudy Rbin, Philadelphia Inquirer (read the entire review here)

"The value of this book is that Esfandiari sets this shameful episode in the context of Iran’s recent history, lucidly explaining, through her own family history, how its tragic swings between liberalism and repression are largely dependent on American policy in the Middle East." --Christopher Hudson, Sunday Telegraph (U.K.) (read the entire review here)

"Episodes from Esfandiari's harrowing experience are woven together with insights about the conspiracy-minded Iranian leaders and their difficult relationship with the United States.... Esfandiari's book will help you understand both why Iranians are so hungry for change, and why its rulers are so afraid of Twitter. " --Double X (read the entire review here)

"Compelling....'My Prison, My Home' goes well beyond the headlines by deftly weaving personal narrative with a political history of modern Iran." --Denver Post (read the entire review here)  

"Esfandiari’s Kafkaesque tale of entrapment and imprisonment gives readers a shocking lesson in the horrors of Iran’s government. And her refusal to break under strict confinement and false charges without breaking is inspiring and powerful." --New York Post [read the entire New York Post review here]

"Ms. Esfandiari's finely wrought memoir - one woman's story - gives us a window on a terrible and terrifying world and the trial by fire that some of our fellow human beings are forced to endure." --Washington Times [read the entire Washington Times review here]

"December 30, 2006, was the night Esfandiari's nightmare began. Traveling by car to the Tehran airport, following a visit with her elderly mother, the director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C., was robbed. The 67-year-old felt lucky, not to have been injured in what she initially thought was a simple snatching of her belongings, including her passport. A few friends warned of more dire consequences. Esfandiari (Reconstructed Lives: Women and Iran's Islamic Revolution) did not realize that upon returning to her childhood home, she was entering a maelstrom, fueled by the long-standing animosity between Tehran and Washington--which contributed to her eight-month interrogation, four of which were spent in Evin Prison in solitary confinement. Most disconcerting was the shattering of Esfandiari's feelings for her native land: I felt the country I had cherished all my life was no longer mine. I had loved Iran with a passion.... Yet these horrible people had made me feel alien in my own homeland. In this engaging memoir, Esfandiari weaves together strands of her family and professional life, the problematic and complex history of the American-Iranian relations, along with a reasoned eyewitness account of being held as a political prisoner." --Publishers Weekly


My Prison My Home cover








By Haleh Esfandiari
Ecco Press


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