Few people within mainstream Western culture have heard of the Assyrian people, and if they have it is within the context of Biblical literature, or other ancient history. Elizabeth Yoel Campbell's memoir of her childhood in early twentieth century Persia offers a fresh view of Middle Eastern lifestyle, culture, politics, and religion. It is a perspective rarely heard, about a people little known in modern history.
The author weaves a series of memorable vignettes into a touching account of her youth, telling it with warmth and a witty sense of humor. She builds into her story Assyrian and Middle Eastern history, giving context to the political and cultural customs of her times. Her times, in turn, set the background for today's Middle Eastern climate.
Yesterday's Children: Growing Up Assyrian in Persia is a must read for history buffs, or for anyone looking for a thought provoking book. It is a great choice for book clubs since it poses as many questions as answers, therefore creating opportunities for imaginative discussion.