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Time Will Say Nothing - A Philosopher Survives an Iranian Prison

Time Will Say Nothing

A Philosopher Survives an Iranian Prison

Hardcover : 9780889773028, 255 pages, October 2014


Sorbonne-educated and the author of almost 30 books, Ramin Jahanbegloo, a philosopher of non-violence in the tradition of Tolstoy and Gandhi, was arrested and detained in Iran’s notorious Evin prison in 2006.

A petition against his imprisonment was initiated, with Umberto Eco, Jurgen Habermas, and Noam Chomsky among the signatories. International organizations joined in, and media around the world reported his case extensively. Finally, after four months, he was released.

In this memoir Jahanbegloo recounts his confinement, his fear for his life, and his concern for the well-being of his family. With cockroaches his only companions, he is sustained by the wisdom of the great philosophers and by his memories of childhood in Tehran and coming-of-age in Paris.

Now exiled to Canada, Jahanbegloo wryly observes that he "traded the danger and violence of an Iranian prison for the mediocrity and hypocrisy of a late capitalist society" and finds himself struggling yet again--this time against banality--in his continued quest for freedom.


"Gripping and profound. " Shlomo Avineri, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

"Jahanbegloo has written a remarkable and sensitive memoir of what it is like to be in solitary confinement, hearing the screams and cries of inmates, never knowing whether one is about to be tortured or killed. He reflects on his early life in Iran, his studies in Paris, his separation from his wife and infant daughter, his dedication to philosophy, his commitment to non-violence, and the need to hope when everything seemed hopeless. Jahanbegloo’s integrity, deep convictions, and honesty about his own fallibility shine through in his insightful and passionate memoir. " Richard J. Bernstein, The New School for Social Research

"Riveting and beautifully written. ..Time Will Say Nothing is an indictment of the practices of a particular regime; but its complaint reaches much farther. It is an indictment of all regimes, East and West. " Fred Dallmayr, author of In Search of the Good Life and Being in the World