Books: Partisan Report

AMONG THE BELIEVERS: AN ISLAMIC JOURNEY

by V.S. Naipaul Knopf; 430 pages; $15

What do the militant Muslims really want? This question, which began to vex the West with special urgency as the Iranian revolution unfolded, piqued the curiosity of V.S. Naipaul. Instead of simply clucking in wonder, he decided to look for an answer at the source. He mapped out a six-month itinerary that only a journalist or a masochist could love. In August 1979, it was off to Iran, a nation still rejoicing in the fall of the Shah, still tumultuous under the evolving rule of Khomeini. Then to...

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