Praise for The Lonely War
“In short and lucid chapters… Ms. Fathi conveys the experiences of people from different walks of life and intersperses these accounts with observations about how the new Islamic revolutionary ideology was conceived, anticipated, received and resisted. Her portraits of the women’s rights activists Faezeh Hashemi and Shahla Sherkat make for fascinating reading. So do her accounts of other courageous Iranian women… Ms. Fathi’s book is a testament to her courage and to the brave struggles of many Iranians who continue to live there with patience, hope and determination.”
The New York Times
“A revealing and often exhilarating portrait of [Fathi’s] life as a female reporter in the Islamic Republic.”
Wall Street Journal
"This is not a dry, academic, political text; it is a personal and experiential account of how changes in the internecine politics of Iran since the revolution have affected the lives of millions. Fathi’s supremely accessible narrative is an excellent primer for those who want to understand the machinations of the regime; hers is a brave and important voice."
The Washington Post
“An invaluable contribution to our understanding of current Iranian political and cultural dynamics, the driving forces behind Iranian foreign policy, and the challenges the country is likely to face in the near future.”
Foreign Policy Association
“Paints a vivid portrait of a nation struggling to reinvent itself after years of oppression.”
“Vivid and compelling… Fathi recounts in exquisite detail three decades in pre and post-1979 Iran – revealing the inherent contradictions at the heart of life after the revolution.”
The Guardian (UK)
"The Lonely War is hopeful memoir that recalls the good that took root in Iran in those terrible days – and has since flowered."
The Globe and Mail
"[Nazila Fathi's] powerful memoir relates three decades of Iranian politics with immediacy and nuance, moving from keen analysis of national events to their terribly personal repercussions."
"The way Fathi weaves Iran's narrative with her own makes for a compelling read."
“[A] gripping account… This is essential reading for anyone interested in the evolution of modern Iran.”
“Fathi offers a masterful telling of her country’s modern history.”
New York Journal of Books
“With dazzling frankness and authenticity… Fathi shows the reality faced by Iranian citizens throughout the last 30 years of political upheaval in the country. [M]ultifaceted and incredibly informative… Readers of history and politics will revel in the accurate reporting of a veteran journalist and lovers of human interest stories will feel gratified to know Fathi so personally. This educational, emotionally enthralling read about a country many Americans know only a little about is a must-read.”
Library Journal, starred review
“Pertinent and timely.”
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
"The Lonely War makes an important, highly enjoyable contribution to the understanding of modern Iran."
Winnipeg Free Press
“Moving… The book intertwines [Fathi’s] personal experiences of marriage and motherhood with the major events of the period.”
“Readers keeping an eye on the contemporary Middle East will learn much from Fathi's travels and observations.”
The Lonely War, reveals an expert understanding of the motivations of Iran’s tangled, self-contradictory religious and political leadership.
Washington City Paper
“Richly informative and insightful—a wonderful book and a great read.”
Leila Ahmed, author of A Border Passage: From Cairo to America—A Woman's Journey
“Nazila Fathi’s The Lonely War is both a touching personal story that illuminates the struggles of life in Iran and a broader reflection on the sociopolitical effects of the Islamic revolution on the Iranian people. With so much misinformation about Iran in the national discourse, Fathi’s book is a valuable resource for anyone looking to read beyond the headlines.”
Hooman Majd, author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ: The Paradox of Modern Iran
“Nazila Fathi’s riveting story of growing up under the Islamic Revolution and becoming one of the country's finest women journalists is told with passion and deep intelligence. A powerful read that sheds much needed light on Iran’s enduring contradictions, The Lonely War is at once an intimate memoir of an Iranian who struggled to remake her country from within, and a chilling glimpse into how the state silences its critics.”
Azadeh Moaveni, author of Lipstick Jihad: A Memoir of Growing up Iranian in America and American in Iran
“Drawing on more than a decade of reporting for the New York Times in Iran, Nazila Fathi has written a lucid and highly engaging portrait of Iranian politics from the 1979 revolution to today. One of the book’s most illuminating features is her vivid portrait of the impoverished recruits for the paramilitary Basij and Revolutionary Guard Corps—including their subsequent disillusionment and adoption of a more middle class, secular life style. Highly recommended for college courses.”
Janet Afary, author of Sexual Politics in Modern Iran
“As fearless as it is honest, The Lonely War tells the inside story of how Iranians have grappled with—and also been inspired by—their Islamic Republic. Journalist Nazila Fathi gives us a powerful personal account of coming of age in revolutionary Iran, exploring Iran’s turbulent modern history through a remarkable cast of real characters and deftly navigating Iran’s cultural and political divide to provide us a superb picture of what makes Iran today.”
Scott Peterson, author of Let the Swords Encircle Me: Iran—A Journey Behind the Headlines
“The Lonely War reveals a new Nazila Fathi: not just the intrepid New York Times correspondent, but also a woman struggling through life in turbulent Iran. This book, like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, mixes the personal with the political against a backdrop of war and revolution. Provocative, moving, insightful, and full of scary characters, The Lonely War takes us deep inside one of the world’s most fascinating societies.”
Stephen Kinzer, author of All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror
“A poignant portrait of Iran’s tortured contemporary history through the eyes of one of the country’s most thoughtful and courageous journalists.”
Karim Sadjadpour, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
“A provocative first-hand account of how the Iranian middle class survived the Islamic revolution, eventually rising like the phoenix from the ashes to claim its place in society and politics. Insightful, empathetic, and gripping, this is a story of a nation’s despair and hope and a window onto what the future holds for Iran.”
Vali Nasr, author of Dispensable Nation: American Foreign Policy in Retreat