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A new book by Kate MIllett, one of our most important feminists, is always a major literary event, and Going to Iran, illustrated with dramatic photographs by Sophie Keir, is a powerfully political and beautifully written work.

  Iran has been in the international headlines continuously for more than three years: the Shah’s expulsion, his sickness ad death, the struggles before the Ayatollah Khomeini dropped the curtain to the world, taking of the hostages.  Millett has worked for many years with a humanitarian group of IRanian dissenters, CAIFI, the Committee for Artistic and Intellectual Freedom in Iran, which protested the conditions under the Shah.  After his downfall, when Iran was poised between a new democracy and religious totalitarianism, Iranian feminists sent an urgent plea to their sisters around the world as they began to organize an Iranian Women’s movement to protect their threatened rights.  Kate Millett and Sophie Keir answered the call, and they were among the very few Americans to see that nation in the nascent stages of revolution.

   Going to Iran is the dramatic, highly personal account of their extraordinary stay in the “new” Iran, where they made friendships with courageous Iranian women but where they were threatened with death, where one can get seventy-five lashes for taking a drink, where homosexuals and children are arbitrarily executed. Millett decries the Shah, who presented a civilized face to the world but kept vats of aid to dispose of his torture victims, but she decries the Ayatollah a well, for sanctioning the fanaticism of the Moslems who disrupted women’s rallies, attacked women demonstrators, even schoolgirls, and threatened all those who refused to wear the chador (veil), whitch the new regime has made compulsory symbol of female submission.  Millett brilliantly examines the notion of the ideal revolution and how it can go tragically awry, the dangers of all forms of imperiaiism, including that of patriarchal religion, orthodox authoritarianism, the the distortions of the press.

   After making headlines around the world, MIllett and Keir were arrested and expelled from Iran.  The account of their seizure is an excellent commentary on what civil rights really mean, as well as an exciting adventure. Going to Iran will stand as an eloquent testament to the courage and strength of modern women.

Going to Iran

Photographs by Sophie Keir

Coward, McCann & Geoghegan; 1St Edition,1982

ISBN-10: 0698110951

ISBN-13: 978-0698110953

Available at Amazon $18.99 - 81.98

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