Argo//Persepolis


I read Argo a while back and loved it. I just finished Persepolis and since both take place at the same time, there’s a lot of overlap.

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Argo is the story of the American hostages during the Iranian revolution in 1979. They overthrew the American embassy and six people managed to stay hidden with the Canadians. I have to say, the American CIA is the boss, but the Canadians might be the actual heroes of the story. They harbored American fugitives for weeks, allowed them to sneak out on Canadian passports and kept it all low-key. Canada rules. Most of the book is a history lesson, one that I desperately needed. I had no idea what America’s former relationship with Iran was like and was stunned that we had supported the shah for so long. It was eye-opening. If you are interested in how the CIA worked or what our relationship with Iran was like, read this. It’s really well-written and interesting.

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Persepolis is the story of a girl, Marji, in the middle of that revolution. Her parents were activists for equality, though they weren’t revolutionists. It’s a graphic novel and thus awesome. Marji is initially caught up in the propaganda of the shah. Then she is caught up in the revolution. But the last third is when I began to feel ridiculously sad. Because the government identified itself as Islamic, all the women were required to wear veils. There were apparently two kinds of people: fundamentalists (those that wore the full outfit) and the people that didn’t want to wear veils in the first place. It’s a story of those that fought the Islamic regime in the only way they knew how, by throwing under the radar parties. I really enjoyed this book and the crossover with Argo was interesting. This is a fascinating time period.

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