Iran Between Two Revolutions (Princeton Studies on the Near East)

5 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691101347
ISBN-10: 0691101345
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Iran Between Two Revolutions (Princeton Studies on the Near East) + A History of Modern Iran + Modern Iran: Roots and Results of Revolution, Updated Edition
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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Studies on the Near East
  • Paperback: 561 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691101345
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691101347
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,121,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Faramarz2009 on December 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
I read this book a few years ago and thus far, I can say with certainty that this is the best work on modern Iran that I've read. Prof. Abrahamian gives a detailed account of Iran from the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 to the fall of the Shah in Feb. 1979. Based on what I can remember, he devoted much time to the rule of the last Shah, with chapters devoted to the rise and fall of Mossadegh, the radical opposition to the Shah after the 1953 coup d'etat, to the Tudeh Party and to the country's development until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. After reading this book, I came away with a very good understanding of pre-revolutionary Iran and with detailed information about 20th century Iran, especially in the Pahlavi era.

Prof. Abrahamian puts forth the argument that the Shah's downfall was due to Iran's uneven development during the nearly 26 years of Mohammad Reza Shah's absolute rule. That period was characterized by rapid industrialization and the creation of a large well-educated class which was expected to support the regime. The problem was that while the society and economy was advancing rapidly (in the direction of the democracies of Europe), politically Iran remained a crude authoritarian state which denied real political power to the educated secular class. As a result, they turned against the regime. This is what Prof. Abrahamian means when he talks of "uneven development." It is a powerful thesis, but I think it underestimates the role of SAVAK (the Shah's brutal secret police agency) in the suppression of both peaceful and violent dissent and thus alienating both the poverty-stricken working class and the educated secular class. This was probably the biggest reason why the 1978-79 uprising succeeded in the way it did.

But in conclusion, I would highly recommend Prof. Abrahamian's book to anyone interested in modern Iran.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By George Skiadopoulos on April 22, 2014
Format: Paperback
I was recommended this book by an Iranian friend of mine, as I love Iran and its culture. This book helped me understand the social forces that helped shape Iranian society in 20th century. In addition to deep knowledge, the author puts compassion in his detailed analysis and the book seems like a theatrical drama reaching a peak at the end.
Highly recommended!
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DPM on July 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
Abrahamian's Iran Between Two Revolution is an extraordinary study, based on nearly 18 years of research and thinking about Iranian social groups and their political organizations. It is indeed a must read for any social scientist focusing on Iranian history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hiromichi Sugawara on August 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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11 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Barry Schachter on October 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Review of Probability and Certainty in Seventeenth-Century England by Barbara J. Shapiro (Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ Press, 1983). (Note that this Amazon page seems to contain information about two different books, one by Shapiro of which I write, and another by Abrahamian.)

This book is about knowing. The concept of science evolved dramatically in the seventeenth century. What interests me in particular about this period is evolution in the idea of what constitutes knowledge and the circumstances surrounding the emergence of mathematical probability as a scientific tool (the two are closely related).

This book is not about mathematical probability. It is an examination of changes in various aspects of English culture attendant to the phenomenon of the broadening of the philosophical concept of "knowing" to embrace things not provable mathematically or geometrically.

While not discussed in Shapiro's book, this change in the definition of what was admissible as knowledge would give legitimacy to mathematical probability as a valid means to extend knowledge. Not coincidentally, I guess, the foundations of mathematical probability were developed at this time, attributed to Pascal and Fermat in 1654.

In England, two philosophers provide the defining end points for this period of change, namely Francis Bacon (1561-1626) and John Locke (1632-1704), but the time immediately surrounding the Restoration (1660-ish), seems especially significant.

Shapiro's goal is to show how the same evolving ways of thinking operated in philosophy, physics, biology, law, religion, etc., driven by a cast of characters who, in true renaissance tradition, were involved in many of these areas simultaneously.
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Iran Between Two Revolutions (Princeton Studies on the Near East)
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