4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2005
I am reviewing this because I was going through some books on Iran. I wasn't really surprised to see that if you want a copy of this book from Amazon, you'll need to shell out 100 dollars for a soft copy in good condition. (No, I wont sell you mine).
Maybe Yale university should rectify the situation and re-print an edition of this excellent social study of revolutionary Iran.
There is a reason why the US has a failed policy with Iran. We never understood Iran or Iranians. We haven't taken the time in the last 100 years to study and get to know the beautiful, unique and yet complex people of Iran.
This book probably isn't a good starting place. (I recommend "The Mantle of the Prophet" by Mottahedeh -- if available). But it certainly cannot be beat as far as the depth of scholarly analysis contained within. My copy has about 25 dog eared pages out of the 307 in the book. The notes and bibliography are as vital as the book itself.
The book chronicles background on the Pahlavis and the Revolution itself. It then goes back and examines the Mojahedin movement and the rise of the secular revolution and the clerical revolution in Iran. It finally looks at how and why the clerics won out.
Today's Iran is still a political battleground between the secularist and the clerics. The US has no real formula for how to deal with either side in Iran because our leaders can't seem to step back from 1979 and look at things rationally.
This work can help understand the internal struggles within Iran. Contrary to our government's view that the US is central to all peoples' thoughts and decisions, this is one book that will help you see the how and why Iranians make decisions that affect their world view for themselves.
Maybe some day, the important works of political analysis will go back into availability.