Author And Expert - Amanda Roraback
Amanda Rorabeck
Iran In A
Enisen Publishing
Publicity Contact Information:
Omni Publicity And PR Group
Joe Ullrich

AVAILABILITY: Amanda is a media pro. She is available for interviews nationwide by arrangement and via telephone or satellite. Amanda is also available as a last-minute guest.


CREDENTIALS: Roraback is a media pro (website) – she’s been a guest on national/local TV and radio shows; C-SPAN, Voice of America, 700 WLW, KTLA-TV L.A., and FOX 11 News to name just a few. She is also a professional public speaker and the author of the timely and popular “Nutshell Notes” book series. Amanda earned her BA and MA in History at California State University. Her PhD. in History from UCLA was well within her grasp when Amanda felt compelled to write about the history she was living in as apposed to studying it.


Iraq In A
Islam In A
Pakistan In A
Afghanistan In A
Historian and L.A. Times Bestselling Author
Amanda Roraback was born in Scotland and spent the first 7 years of her life in Paris with her American father, then a journalist at the International Herald Tribune, and Scottish mother. The family moved to Los Angeles in the 1970s after her father was offered a job at the Los Angeles Times.

By the time the family had relocated to the warmer climates of America’s west coast, she had already visited 7 countries beginning her lifelong quest to visit as many countries as the number of years she was alive. The wanderlust was inherited by her father, who had traveled the world as a missionary, fisherman, naval officer, journalist and other jobs, and her mother who had lived in Hong Kong and Paris before getting married.

As soon as she graduated from high school, she took her first solo trip to Europe where she explored life behind the infamous Iron Curtain and added her name to the graffiti on the Berlin Wall. During one excursion up Notre Dame in Paris, one of the first terrorist bombs exploded at the local police prefecture. Roraback, already a journalist at heart, quickly snapped photos of the billowing smoke before running to the scene. The next day, she sold the photo to Paris Match. The money she earned from the double-page spread paid for this trip and a portion of the next.

Two years later, Roraback, a French major at the time, spent a semester in China resulting in an abrupt shift in her field of study. “For the first time in my life, I saw people who, in effect, thought differently that I did,” Roraback reported. She changed her major to history in order to better explore the hearts and minds of people around the world. Out of the China trip also came her very first published piece. While she was abroad, her letters home were published in the Cal State University of Northridge alumni magazine. The next year, the same students she had befriended in Xi’an joined their peers to demonstrate against the government in Tiananmen Square.

Not entirely abandoning her first desire to learn French, Amanda finally spent a semester in Paris, the same year

the Berlin wall collapsed. She would have a chance to explore the consequences of this momentous event a couple of years later in the Soviet Union.

In 1991, Roraback arrived for a year-long term teaching history at a progressive university in the Soviet Republic of Lithuania. In line with her impeccable knack for timing, she arrived the evening of the coup that deposed Gorbachev and brought an end to the Soviet Empire. For the next year, she watched Lithuania (now independent) evolve from a Soviet country to a Western one. She was quickly hired by the brand new American Embassy as a liaison in her city, Kaunas, and kept up with local sentiments by hosting her own radio show, “The Kaunas Commentary” broadcast around the world.

When Roraback returned to the States, Amanda finished her Masters degree in history and published a number of scholarly articles on her experiences in Lithuania. She graduated with the highest honors from California State University Northridge, the same year the University nearly collapsed in the course of the Northridge earthquake in 1994.

She was accepted into the Doctorate program at UCLA where she worked towards a PhD in Soviet History.

As she climbed higher in the academic arena, though, she saw her world continue to shrink. No longer inspired by studying minutiae in history, she decided to drop the program and academia in order to chase grander goals.

“At a certain point, I got tired of reexamining historical revolutions. What I really wanted to know was how they influenced the world today.” She also wanted to share what she her passion of history and current affairs with ordinary people – those who didn’t have the time or inclination to properly learn about the world around them.

Breaking all the rules she had learned from her pundit professors, Roraback set out to simplify concepts and bridge the gap between history and contemporary news. “Information is only interesting when it is understood and when, in some way or another, it relates to our lives.”

After a few illicit trips to Cuba, Roraback penned the first in her “Nutshell Notes” and posted it on her new website, Soon after it went up, a little boy drifted on the shores of Florida setting off media frenzy. The Elian Gonzales story increased the number of visitors to her site from less than 10 a day to thousands of hits a day. She added entries on Yugoslavia and Afghanistan but maintained an ambition to put them into printed booklets in the same style as Cliffs Notes.

In 2001, her vision was realized with her first printed book. At the time only 25 pages long, her book “Afghanistan in a Nutshell” hit a strong cord coming out a month after the 9/11 attack when the U.S. had decided to battle Osama bin Laden and the Taliban in the South Asian country. A week later, the book was listed on the Los Angeles Times best seller list as was the third book in the series, “Iraq in a Nutshell” (which came out in March 2003 when American troops were sent to the country).

After months of wrangling, in August 2006 Amanda finally received a visa allowing her to visit Iran as a British tourist (she applied for dual-citizenship to facilitate the trip). The trip coincided with the war in Lebanon between Iran-backed Hezbollah and Israel and the terrorist threat on planes flying between London and the United States. Despite many set-backs (among them, Amanda’s flight connection through London’s Heathrow Airport) the author was able to study a broad cross-section of Iran’s population in more than a dozen cities. She captured the trip in 700 photographs and more than 100 pages of notes which she is still compiling into a blog.

She’s determined to return to Iran with a group of teachers who, she hopes, will help dispel the many myths Americans have about the Islamic Republic.

Palestine in a Nutshell is the first "flip-book" dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian crisis in two equal and unbiased segments.

Israel in a Nutshell begins with a study of Israel's ancient biblical history and follows the Jews from their expulsion from Israel (the Diaspora) through centuries of anti-Semitism and finally the return of Zionist Jews to their homeland in the 19th century.

Israel in a Nutshell goes on to describe the new state of Israel's struggle to maintain and expand its territory and protect its citizens from from belligerent Palestinians living within Israel’s borders. Israel in a Nutshell concludes by navigating readers through the series of peace treaties beginning in Camp David and ending with the latest 2003 Geneva proposal.

Palestine in a Nutshell begins in the same historical period as its Israeli counterpart but concentrates on the rise of Islam and the Ottoman period. Following Al-Nakbah (the “catastrophe) of 1948, Palestine in a Nutshell focuses on the plight of the Palestinian refugees, the rise of the PLO and the development of militant organizations, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Palestine in a Nutshell then concludes by exploring the Palestinian perspective on controversial issues including refugees, Jerusalem (Al-Quds), “freedom fighters” and settlements.

© 2006 Omni Experts