Making History in Iran

Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture
Author: Farzin Vejdani
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 080479281X
Category: History
Page: 288
View: 4109
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Iranian history was long told through a variety of stories and legend, tribal lore and genealogies, and tales of the prophets. But in the late nineteenth century, new institutions emerged to produce and circulate a coherent history that fundamentally reshaped these fragmented narratives and dynastic storylines. Farzin Vejdani investigates this transformation to show how cultural institutions and a growing public-sphere affected history-writing, and how in turn this writing defined Iranian nationalism. Interactions between the state and a cross-section of Iranian society—scholars, schoolteachers, students, intellectuals, feminists, and poets—were crucial in shaping a new understanding of nation and history. This enlightening book draws on previously unexamined primary sources—including histories, school curricula, pedagogical materials, periodicals, and memoirs—to demonstrate how the social locations of historians writ broadly influenced their interpretations of the past. The relative autonomy of these historians had a direct bearing on whether history upheld the status quo or became an instrument for radical change, and the writing of history became central to debates on social and political reform, the role of women in society, and the criteria for citizenship and nationality. Ultimately, this book traces how contending visions of Iranian history were increasingly unified as a centralized Iranian state emerged in the early twentieth century.

Making History in Iran

Education, Nationalism, and Print Culture
Author: Farzin Vejdani
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804791538
Category: History
Page: 283
View: 2281
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This book examines the institutions, associations, and networks through which contending visions of history were produced and circulated in Iran during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.

Democracy in Iran

History and the Quest for Liberty
Author: Ali Gheissair,Vali Nasr,Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0195396960
Category: History
Page: 214
View: 5558
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Today Iran is once again in the headlines. Reputed to be developing nuclear weapons, the future of Iraq's next-door neighbor is a matter of grave concern both for the stability of the region and for the safety of the global community. President George W. Bush labeled it part of the "Axis of Evil," and rails against the country's authoritarian leadership. Yet as Bush trumpets the spread of democracy throughout the Middle East, few note that Iran has one of the longest-running experiences with democracy in the region. In this book, Ali Gheissari and Vali Nasr look at the political history of Iran in the modern era, and offer an in-depth analysis of the prospects for democracy to flourish there. After having produced the only successful Islamist challenge to the state, a revolution, and an Islamic Republic, Iran is now poised to produce a genuine and indigenous democratic movement in the Muslim world. Democracy in Iran is neither a sudden development nor a western import, Gheissari and Nasr argue. The concept of democracy in Iran today may appear to be a reaction to authoritarianism, but it is an old idea with a complex history, one that is tightly interwoven with the main forces that have shaped Iranian society and politics, institutions, identities, and interests. Indeed, the demand for democracy first surfaced in Iran a century ago at the end of the Qajar period, and helped produce Iran's surprisingly liberal first constitution in 1906. Gheissari and Nasr seek to understand why democracy failed to grow roots and lost ground to an autocratic Iranian state. Why was democracy absent from the ideological debates of the 1960s and 1970s? Most important, why has it now become a powerful social, political, and intellectual force? How have modernization, social change, economic growth, and the experience of the revolution converged to make this possible?

Iran

A Modern History
Author: Abbas Amanat
Publisher: Yale University Press
ISBN: 0300231466
Category: History
Page: 992
View: 6983
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A masterfully researched and compelling history of Iran from 1501 to 2009 This history of modern Iran is not a survey in the conventional sense but an ambitious exploration of the story of a nation. It offers a revealing look at how events, people, and institutions are shaped by currents that sometimes reach back hundreds of years. The book covers the complex history of the diverse societies and economies of Iran against the background of dynastic changes, revolutions, civil wars, foreign occupation, and the rise of the Islamic Republic. Abbas Amanat combines chronological and thematic approaches, exploring events with lasting implications for modern Iran and the world. Drawing on diverse historical scholarship and emphasizing the twentieth century, he addresses debates about Iran’s culture and politics. Political history is the driving narrative force, given impetus by Amanat's decades of research and study. He layers the book with discussions of literature, music, and the arts; ideology and religion; economy and society; and cultural identity and heritage.

Revolutionary Iran

A History of the Islamic Republic
Author: Michael Axworthy
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199322279
Category: History
Page: 512
View: 6718
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In Revolutionary Iran, Michael Axworthy guides us through recent Iranian history from shortly before the 1979 Islamic revolution through the summer of 2009, when Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran by the hundreds of thousands, demanding free, democratic government. Axworthy explains how that outpouring of support for an end to tyranny in Iran paused and then moved on to other areas in the region like Egypt and Libya, leaving Iran's leadership unchanged. The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a defining moment of the modern era. Its success unleashed a wave of Islamist fervor across the Middle East and signaled a sharp decline in the appeal of Western ideologies in the Islamic world. Axworthy takes readers through the major periods in Iranian history over the last thirty years: the overthrow of the old regime and the creation of the new one; the Iran-Iraq war; the reconstruction era following the war; the reformist wave led by Mohammed Khatami; and the present day, in which reactionaries have re-established control. Throughout, he emphasizes that the Iranian revolution was centrally important in modern history because it provided the world with a clear model of development that was not rooted in Western ideologies. Whereas the world's major revolutions of the previous two centuries had been fuelled by Western, secular ideologies, the Iranian Revolution drew its inspiration from Islam. Revolutionary Iran is both richly textured and from one of the leading authorities on the region; combining an expansive scope with the most accessible and definitive account of this epoch in all its humanity.

Soundtrack of the Revolution

The Politics of Music in Iran
Author: Nahid Siamdoust
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 1503600963
Category: History
Page: 368
View: 2707
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Music was one of the first casualties of the Iranian Revolution. It was banned in 1979, but it quickly crept back into Iranian culture and politics. The state made use of music for its propaganda during the Iran–Iraq war. Over time music provided an important political space where artists and audiences could engage in social and political debate. Now, more than thirty-five years on, both the children of the revolution and their music have come of age. Soundtrack of the Revolution offers a striking account of Iranian culture, politics, and social change to provide an alternative history of the Islamic Republic. Drawing on over five years of research in Iran, including during the 2009 protests, Nahid Siamdoust introduces a full cast of characters, from musicians and audience members to state officials, and takes readers into concert halls and underground performances, as well as the state licensing and censorship offices. She closely follows the work of four musicians—a giant of Persian classical music, a government-supported pop star, a rebel rock-and-roller, and an underground rapper—each with markedly different political views and relations with the Iranian government. Taken together, these examinations of musicians and their music shed light on issues at the heart of debates in Iran—about its future and identity, changing notions of religious belief, and the quest for political freedom. Siamdoust shows that even as state authorities resolve, for now, to allow greater freedoms to Iran's majority young population, they retain control and can punish those who stray too far. But music will continue to offer an opening for debate and defiance. As the 2009 Green Uprising and the 1979 Revolution before it have proven, the invocation of a potent melody or musical verse can unite strangers into a powerful public.

Nuclear Iran

The Birth of an Atomic State
Author: David Patrikarakos
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 1780761252
Category: History
Page: 340
View: 3199
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An in-depth analysis of Iran's nuclear program and its implications for the rest of the world traces the parallels between the country's nuclear development and its modern history.

Power and Change in Iran

Politics of Contention and Conciliation
Author: Daniel Brumberg,Farideh Farhi
Publisher: Indiana University Press
ISBN: 0253020794
Category: History
Page: 328
View: 9181
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This volume provides an unparalleled and timely look at political, social, economic, and ideological dynamics in contemporary Iran. Through chapters on social welfare and privatization, university education, the role and authority of the Supreme Leader, the rule of law, the evolving electoral system, and the intense debate over human rights within and outside the regime, the contributors offer a comprehensive overview of Iranian politics. Their case studies reveal a society whose multiple vectors of contestation, negotiation, and competition are creating possibilities for transformation that are yet to be realized but whose outcome will affect the Islamic Republic, the region, and relations with the United States.

A Social Revolution

Politics and the Welfare State in Iran
Author: Kevan Harris
Publisher: Univ of California Press
ISBN: 0520280814
Category: History
Page: 325
View: 5467
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For decades, political observers and pundits have characterized the Islamic Republic of Iran as an ideologically rigid state on the verge of collapse, exclusively connected to a narrow social base. In A Social Revolution, Kevan Harris convincingly demonstrates how they are wrong. Previous studies ignore the forceful consequences of three decades of social change following the 1979 revolution. Today, more people in the country are connected to welfare and social policy institutions than to any other form of state organization. In fact, much of Iran’s current political turbulence is the result of the success of these social welfare programs, which have created newly educated and mobilized social classes advocating for change. Based on extensive fieldwork conducted in Iran between 2006 and 2011, Harris shows how the revolutionary regime endured though the expansion of health, education, and aid programs that have both embedded the state in everyday life and empowered its challengers. This first serious book on the social policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran opens a new line of inquiry into the study of welfare states in countries where they are often overlooked or ignored.

Foucault in Iran

Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment
Author: Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi
Publisher: U of Minnesota Press
ISBN: 1452950563
Category: Philosophy
Page: 272
View: 5867
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Were the thirteen essays Michel Foucault wrote in 1978–1979 endorsing the Iranian Revolution an aberration of his earlier work or an inevitable pitfall of his stance on Enlightenment rationality, as critics have long alleged? Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi argues that the critics are wrong. He declares that Foucault recognized that Iranians were at a threshold and were considering if it were possible to think of dignity, justice, and liberty outside the cognitive maps and principles of the European Enlightenment. Foucault in Iran centers not only on the significance of the great thinker’s writings on the revolution but also on the profound mark the event left on his later lectures on ethics, spirituality, and fearless speech. Contemporary events since 9/11, the War on Terror, and the Arab Uprisings have made Foucault’s essays on the Iranian Revolution more relevant than ever. Ghamari-Tabrizi illustrates how Foucault saw in the revolution an instance of his antiteleological philosophy: here was an event that did not fit into the normative progressive discourses of history. What attracted him to the Iranian Revolution was precisely its ambiguity. Theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich, this interdisciplinary work will spark a lively debate in its insistence that what informed Foucault’s writing was not an effort to understand Islamism but, rather, his conviction that Enlightenment rationality has not closed the gate of unknown possibilities for human societies.

Persia in Crisis

Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan
Author: Rudi Matthee
Publisher: I.B.Tauris
ISBN: 184511745X
Category: History
Page: 371
View: 4693
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The decline and fall of Safavid Iran is traditionally seen as the natural outcome of the unrelieved political stagnation and moral degeneration which characterized late Safavid Iran. Persia in Crisis challenges this view. In this ground-breaking new book, Rudi Matthee revisits traditional sources and introduces new ones to take a fresh look at Safavid Iran in the century preceding the fall of Isfahan in 1722, which brought down the dynasty and ushered in a long period of turbulence in Iranian history. Inherently vulnerable because of the country's physical environment, its tribal makeup, and a small economic base, the Safavid state was fatally weakened over the course of the seventeenth century. Matthee views Safavid Iran as a network of precarious alliances subject to perpetual negotiation and the society they ruled as an uneasy balance between conflicting forces. In the later seventeenth century, this delicate balance shifted from cohesion to fragmentation. An increasingly detached, palace-bound shah; a weakening link between the capital and the outlying provinces; the regime's neglect of the military; and its short-sighted monetary policies combined to exacerbate rather than redress existing problems, leaving the country with a ruler too feeble to hold factionalism and corruption in check and a military unable to defend its borders against outside attack by Ottomans and Afghans. The scene was set for the Crisis of 1722. This book makes a major contribution to our understanding of Iranian history and the period that led to two hundred years of decline and eclipse for Iran.

Shahnameh

The Persian Book of Kings
Author: Abolqasem Ferdowsi
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101993235
Category: Poetry
Page: 1040
View: 1140
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The definitive translation by Dick Davis of the great national epic of Iran—now newly revised and expanded to be the most complete English-language edition Dick Davis—“our pre-eminent translator from the Persian” (The Washington Post)—has revised and expanded his acclaimed translation of Ferdowsi’s masterpiece, adding more than 100 pages of newly translated text. Davis’s elegant combination of prose and verse allows the poetry of the Shahnameh to sing its own tales directly, interspersed sparingly with clearly marked explanations to ease along modern readers. Originally composed for the Samanid princes of Khorasan in the tenth century, the Shahnameh is among the greatest works of world literature. This prodigious narrative tells the story of pre-Islamic Persia, from the mythical creation of the world and the dawn of Persian civilization through the seventh-century Arab conquest. The stories of the Shahnameh are deeply embedded in Persian culture and beyond, as attested by their appearance in such works as The Kite Runner and the love poems of Rumi and Hafez. For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Understanding Iran

Everything You Need to Know, From Persia to the Islamic Republic, From Cyrus to Khamenei
Author: William R. Polk
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
ISBN: 9780230103238
Category: Political Science
Page: 272
View: 5024
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William R. Polk provides an informative, readable history of a country which is moving quickly toward becoming the dominant power and culture of the Middle East. A former member of the State Department's Policy Planning Council, Polk describes a country and a history misunderstood by many in the West. While Iranians chafe under the yolk of their current leaders, they also have bitter memories of generations of British, Russian and American espionage, invasion, and dominance. There are important lessons to be learned from the past, and Polk teases them out of a long and rich history and shows that it is not just now, but for decades to come that an understanding of Iran will be essential to American safety and well-being.

Being Modern in Iran


Author: Fariba Adelkhah
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231119410
Category: History
Page: 190
View: 8673
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Since its 1979 revolution seized the world's attention, the Islamic Republic of Iran has remained a subject of misunderstanding, passion, and polemic. This book -- a study of Iran's political culture in the broadest and deepest sense -- examines the tremendous changes taking place in Iran today. Most studies of contemporary Iran overemphasize the revolution's radical break with the past and focus exclusively on the Republic's Islamic character as the decisive factor in its social reality. But modernity has not simply been banished and excluded from Iran; nor have the effects of globalization passed it by. Drawing on her extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Iran and an encyclopedic knowledge of contemporary Iranian politics and culture, anthropologist Fariba Adelkhah investigates modernity in the Islamic Republic of Iran by looking at the growth of individualism, the bureaucracy, commercial forces, and rationalization in post-revolution Iran.

Iran in World History


Author: Richard Foltz
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199335508
Category: Iran
Page: 168
View: 2134
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Home of one of the world's most ancient and enduring civilizations, Iran has been at the nexus of world history for the past three thousand years. Situated at the crossroads between East and West, it has been marked by its encounters with other cultures and has influenced them with its own. From paradise gardens and Persian carpets to the mystical poetry of Rumi and Hafez, Iran's contributions have earned it a place among history's most refined and sophisticated societies. In this book, Richard Foltz traces the spread of Iranian culture among diverse populations ranging from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean, and along the Silk Roads as far as China, from prehistoric times up to the present day. He emphasizes the range of contributions Iran has made to world history by highlighting the roles of key figures such as the ancient empire-builders Cyrus the Great and Darius I, the medieval polymath Avicenna, and early modern Mughal rulers such as Shah Jahan, who built India's celebrated Taj Mahal. From the establishment of the Pahlavi dynasty by Reza Shah in 1925 until the 1979 revolution under the charismatic leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran embarked on a modernization process that led to the spread of literacy and the growth of the women's movement, making it one of the most advanced nations in the developing world. Lack of political freedoms has continued to frustrate many Iranians, however, and the country is often seen as an international pariah in the West. Iran today is rarely treated well in Western news headlines, despite remarkable achievements by individual Iranians in a wide range of fields. Encompassing religion, literature, the arts, and politics, Iran in World History offers a comprehensive history of one of the world's most influential civilizations and offers nuanced examples of its continuing role in the world today.

Iran's Political Economy since the Revolution


Author: Suzanne Maloney
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521506344
Category: History
Page: 460
View: 8445
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This book provides a comprehensive overview of Iran's political economy since the 1979 revolution and examines the country's energy sector.

Immortal, Updated Edition

A Military History of Iran and Its Armed Forces
Author: Steven R. Ward
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 1626160325
Category: Political Science
Page: 400
View: 2432
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Immortal, now in an updated paperback edition, is the only single-volume English-language survey of Iran’s military history. CIA analyst Steven R. Ward shows that Iran’s soldiers, from the famed “Immortals” of ancient Persia to today’s Revolutionary Guard, have demonstrated through the centuries that they should not be underestimated. This history also provides background on the nationalist, tribal, and religious heritages of the country to help readers better understand Iran and its security outlook. Drawing on a wide range of sources including declassified documents, the author gives primary focus to the modern era to relate the buildup of the military under the last Shah, its collapse during the Islamic revolution, its fortunes in the Iran-Iraq War, and its rise from the ashes to help Iran become once again a major regional military power.

The Fall of Heaven

The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
Author: Andrew Scott Cooper
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
ISBN: 0805098984
Category: History
Page: 416
View: 7690
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An immersive, gripping account of the rise and fall of Iran's glamorous Pahlavi dynasty, written with the cooperation of the late Shah's widow, Empress Farah, Iranian revolutionaries and US officials from the Carter administration In this remarkably human portrait of one of the twentieth century's most complicated personalities, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Andrew Scott Cooper traces the Shah's life from childhood through his ascension to the throne in 1941. He draws the turbulence of the post-war era during which the Shah survived assassination attempts and coup plots to build a modern, pro-Western state and launch Iran onto the world stage as one of the world's top five powers. Readers get the story of the Shah's political career alongside the story of his courtship and marriage to Farah Diba, who became a power in her own right, the beloved family they created, and an exclusive look at life inside the palace during the Iranian Revolution. Cooper's investigative account ultimately delivers the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty through the eyes of those who were there: leading Iranian revolutionaries; President Jimmy Carter and White House officials; US Ambassador William Sullivan and his staff in the American embassy in Tehran; American families caught up in the drama; even Empress Farah herself, and the rest of the Iranian Imperial family. Intimate and sweeping at once, The Fall of Heaven recreates in stunning detail the dramatic and final days of one of the world's most legendary ruling families, the unseating of which helped set the stage for the current state of the Middle East.

Conceptualizing Iranian Anthropology

Past and Present Perspectives
Author: Shahnaz R. Nadjmabadi
Publisher: Berghahn Books
ISBN: 0857456520
Category: Social Science
Page: 286
View: 587
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During recent years, attempts have been made to move beyond the Eurocentric perspective that characterized the social sciences, especially anthropology, for over 150 years. A debate on the “anthropology of anthropology” was needed, one that would consider other forms of knowledge, modalities of writing, and political and intellectual practices. This volume undertakes that challenge: it is the result of discussions held at the first organized encounter between Iranian, American, and European anthropologists since the Iranian Revolution of 1979. It is considered an important first step in overcoming the dichotomy between “peripheral anthropologies” versus “central anthropologies.” The contributors examine, from a critical perspective, the historical, cultural, and political field in which anthropological research emerged in Iran at the beginning of the twentieth century and in which it continues to develop today.

Inside Iran

The Real History and Politics of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Author: Medea Benjamin
Publisher: OR Books
ISBN: 9781944869656
Category: History
Page: 256
View: 3304
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U.S. relations with Iran have been fraught for decades, but under the Trump Administration tensions are rising to startling levels. Medea Benjamin, one of the best-known 21st century activists, offers the incredible history of how a probable alliance became a bitter antagonism in this accessible and fascinating story. In 1979, the Iranian Revolution brought a full-scale theocracy to the 80 million inhabitants of the Middle East's second largest country, with. The rule of the ayatollahs opened the door to Islamic fundamentalism. In the decades since, bitter relations have persisted between the U.S. and Iran. Yet how is it that Iran has become the primary target of American antagonism over nations like Saudi Arabia, whose appalling human rights violations fail to depose it as one of America's closest allies in the Middle East? In the first general-audience book on the subject, Medea Benjamin elucidates the mystery behind this complex relationship, recounting the country's history from the pre-colonial period to its emergence as the one nation Democrats and Republicans alike can unite in denouncing. Benjamin has traveled several times to Iran, and uses her firsthand experiences with politicians, activists, and everyday citizens to provide a deeper understanding of the complexities of Iranian society. Tackling common misconceptions about Iran's system of government, its religiosity, and its citizens' way of life, Benjamin makes short work of the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding U.S.-Iranian relations, and presents a realistic and hopeful case for the two nations' future.