Elaine Sciolino is a Senior Writer for the New York Times and author of Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran and a former Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center.

Iran has become a land of mystery to most outside its borders, particularly Americans. The frenzied mobs of 1979 have endured a s a symbol of the defiant, revolutionary Islamic Republic. But Iran has been a society undergoing extensive change for two decades. Two groups – women and students – serve as efficient barometers of the extent and direction of Iran's redefinition; but not Iranian is untouched by it. Elaine Sciolino, conversant with Iranian society for twenty years, reveals the reality behind the veil in a nation at once ancient and new.