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American guns, Iranian fruit knives

April 10, 2009

‘I used to try to explain to friends in Tehran that the robbery hadn’t really been terribly scary, but that only led them to conclude I was some kind of fearless American superhero. I was left making vague relativist arguments; it wasn’t nearly as terrifying as the same sort of thing would have been in the US, where the assailants almost certainly would have been armed with guns rather than fruit knives.’ This startlingly original his/story makes that tricky move from personal anecdote to modern political history that so many writers in non-Western countries take on but so few manage to steer, with self-awareness, humility and aplomb. (from Mana)

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