Published by the Oxford University Press in 2012, the book has been edited by Touraj Daryaee, an Iranian professor at the University of California.
Khashayar Bahari and Mohammadreza Jafari have rendered the book into Persian.
This handbook is a current, comprehensive single-volume history of Iranian civilization. The authors, all leaders in their fields, emphasize the large-scale continuities of Iranian history while also describing the important patterns of transformation that have characterized Iran’s past.
Each of the chapters focuses on a specific epoch of Iranian history and surveys the general political, social, cultural and economic issues of that era.
The ancient period begins with chapters considering the anthropological evidence of the prehistoric era, through the early settled civilizations of the Iranian plateau, and continuing on to the rise of the ancient Persian empires.
The medieval section first considers the Arab-Muslim conquest of the seventh century, and then moves on to discuss the growing Turkish influence filtering in from Central Asia beginning in the tenth and eleventh centuries.
The last third of the book covers Iran in the modern era by considering the rise of the Safavid state and its accompanying policy of centralization, the introduction of Shiism, the problems of reform and modernization in the Qajar and Pahlavi periods, and the revolution of 1978-79 and its aftermath.
The book is a collaborative exercise among scholars specializing in a variety of sub-fields and across a number of disciplines, including history, art history, classics, literature, politics and linguistics.