In this insightful study of Iranian cultural history and national identity, the late Shahrokh Meskoob, one of Iran’s leading intellectuals, reviewed the roles of three social classes, the courtiers and bureaucratic officials (ahl-e divan), the religious scholars (ulama), and the Muslim Gnostics (Sufi poets and writers), in the development and refinement of the Persian language during the past 1,000 years and gives the reader a fresh perspective on Iranian cultural heritage and the struggle to forge a distinct national identity.
Dr. Ali Banuazizi’s foreword and interview with the author sets the stage for a fuller appreciation of this invaluable and wide-ranging contribution to Iranian intellectual history.