The ongoing rivalry between the United States and Iran is an important facet of contemporary international politics. This book traces the roots and manifestations of American perceptions of Iran with particular focus on the Iranian Revolution. It analyses the nature of American orientalism and epistemological moorings of Middle East area studies in the United States so that one is able to grasp the stock of images and gamut of ideas that shape American perceptions of Iran. It brings forth the Islamic political discourses and the political economy factors that contributed to the Iranian Revolution and shows the basic flaws of American views and analyses of it. American perceptions are studied here by undertaking a thorough-going critical analysis of policy documents, memoirs of policy makers and academic writings. This study provides a refreshing break from usual foreign policy analysis by paying attention to the realm of ideas that constitute policies and perceptions.