By Ervand Abrahamian
In a reappraisal of Iran's glossy historical past, Ervand Abrahamian strains its annoying trip around the 20th century, throughout the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of thumb of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the start of the Islamic Republic. within the intervening years, the rustic has skilled a sour struggle with Iraq, the transformation of society lower than the clergy and, extra lately, the growth of the nation and the fight for strength among the previous elites, the intelligentsia and the industrial center classification. the writer is a compassionate expositor. whereas he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's local and overseas politics, on the center of his ebook are the folks of Iran. it truly is to them and their resilience that this ebook is devoted, as Iran emerges at the start of the twenty-first century as essentially the most strong states within the heart East.
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Extra resources for A History of Modern Iran
Under favorable conditions, travelers needed at least 17 days to cross the 350 miles from Tehran to Tabriz, 14 days, the 558 miles to Mashed, and 37 days, the 700 miles to Bushire. Gas lights, electricity, and telephones were luxuries restricted to a few in Tehran. One English visitor wrote nostalgically: “There are no cities in Persia, and likewise no slums; no steam driven industries, and therefore none of the mechanical tyranny that deadens the brain, starves the heart, wearies bodies and mind with its monotony.
While the state has gained increasing power over society, it has itself become more differentiated, with various political groups having special links with particular social groups. The book also looks at the intimate and complex dynamics between economic and social change, Introduction 7 between social and cultural change, and between cultural and political change – as reflected in the official ideology of the state as well as in the political culture of the larger society. In the Weberian sense, this book is a narrative of how patrimonial rule has been replaced by a bureaucratic state – one where the center dominates the periphery.
It describes, on the one hand, how the formation of the centralized state has placed pressures on the society below; and, on the other hand, how social pressures from below have altered the state – especially in two dramatic revolutions. While the state has gained increasing power over society, it has itself become more differentiated, with various political groups having special links with particular social groups. The book also looks at the intimate and complex dynamics between economic and social change, Introduction 7 between social and cultural change, and between cultural and political change – as reflected in the official ideology of the state as well as in the political culture of the larger society.
A History of Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian