Save Big On Open-Box & Pre-owned: Buy "Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic” from Amazon Warehouse Deals and save 31% off the $34.95 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all Open-Box & Pre-owned offers from Amazon Warehouse Deals.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Special Offers and Product Promotions
"This is one of the few must-read books of this year... excellent and insightful from beginning to end." --Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution
"If you were to read only one book on present-day Iran you could not do better than this. Michael Axworthy, a Foreign-Office-expert-turned- academic, has drawn on his own experience as well as archival research to produce a highly readable narrative of the Islamic Republic."--Ervand Abrahamian, Times Higher Education
"Balancing scholarly precision with narrative flair, Mr. Axworthy depicts an Islamic movement that exploited and distorted traditional Shia beliefs in order to seize and hold on to power... scholarly rigor and first-class analysis." --The Economist
"Meticulously fair and scholarly... a very fine work that deserves to be read by anyone interested in the Middle East. Iran is inevitably still central to events in the region and beyond, not just through the potential for war over its nuclear program, nor even because of its continued support for the Assad regime in Syria, but because it is, as Axworthy says, less a country than a continent, more a civilization than a nation." --James Buchan, The Guardian
"Because of [the Iranian] election, Revolutionary Iran, which takes the reader up to the end of 2012, is particularly well-timed. It will be invaluable for those hoping to make sense of the coverage. With it, Axworthy has confirmed his position as one of the most lucid and humane western interpreters of Iran writing at the moment." --The New Statesman
"This book puts much-needed flesh on the simplistic caricature of Iran." --The Times (UK)
"The Shah's imperial folly and overthrow are described grippingly." --The Daily Telegraph
About the Author
Michael Axworthy is Former Head of the Iran Section of the British Foreign Office from 1998-2000. He is currently Senior Lecturer and Director of the Centre for Persian and Iranian Studies at the University of Exeter, and the author of Empire of the Mind: A History of Iran.
Top Customer Reviews
Knowing next to nothing about Iran, my curiosity was piqued with the outstanding academy award winning Iranian film A Separation that depicted a complex, vibrant and tragic nation unlike what I'd imagined from my limited reading of alarming news about Iran. The news depicts a theocratic, threatening, paranoid, murderous government. All this is sadly and tragically true, but Iran`s government is not Iran and, as the book makes clear, Iranians themselves have very different views and aspirations.
Though Iran`s deep history as Persia is covered, the book is effectively about the period 1970-2012, from the lead up to the 1979 revolution to the book`s publication. Unlike other modern revolutions and contrary to the expectations of most, a clerical elite ended up on top after Iran`s revolution. However, to get on top this elite had to make extensive use of ruthless and cynical violence. Thus Iran`s politician-clerics represent an extreme wing of overall clerical opinion in Iran. The need for constant violence and intimidation tends to select for clerics who can justify the maintenance of power over the tenets of their religion. Large segments of the Iranian population have lost faith in their governing religious leaders, even as they remain committed to their version of Islam. This suggests parallels to Cromwell`s 1650s England, or Martin Luther`s pre-reformation Germany. Indeed, the book describes several points where modern Iran came tantalizingly close to developing in a different direction.
The author's excellent grasp of Farsi allows him to impart an authentic and empathetic sense of hopes, opinion and debate in contemporary Iran. His status as a foreigner lets him see Iran more clearly than many Iranians and his calibre as a writer/historian let him explain it all in compelling fashion.
Thoroughly researched and objectively written. Provided a fair and balanced assessment of Iran. I highly recommend this book.
Following a coup d'état instigated by the UK and the US in the early 1950s, Iran gradually became despotic. Growing conflict against foreign influence and political repression culminated in the Iranian Revolution, which led to the establishment of an Islamic republic on 1 April 1979. Under the Shah there had been arbitrary arrests and torture by his secret police - SAVAK, and were used to crush all forms of political antagonism. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini became an active critic of the Shah's government and publicly denounced it. Khomeini was arrested and imprisoned for 18 months. After his release in 1964, Khomeini publicly critiqued the United States government role in the country. Eventually Ruhollah Khomeini and his supporters drove the shah into exile and all but in the process demolished the royal army. Then, under the blanket of the war with Iraq, they wiped out their allies and rivals - leftist, liberal and other groups perceived as a threat. This authoritative work by Michael Axworthy, a former British diplomat who headed the Iran Office from 1998 - 2000, does much to give a good readable history of that time, and then up to the relative present
It should be noted that Iranian oil reserves in, according to its government, rank third major reserve in the world at roughly 150 billion barrels as of 2007, although it ranks second if Canadian reserves of unconventional oil are omitted. It has foreign policy that is affecting the civil war in Syria and its active support for Hezbollah in Lebanon and its policy towards Israel - makes this a regional player that should not be ignored.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I learned a ton about Iran and I thought it was a really good book in general. But if you are looking for an impartial history, this is not the book for you. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Phantom1344
I cannot begin to say enough about how good this book is. I learned something new in every chapter and the author did a tremendous job of explaining how Iran has gotten where it is... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Barbara M. Brogan
I'm relatively new to reading history and I sometimes struggle with understanding all of the social, economic, and political concepts at play. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mark
Axworthy gives a comprehensive, honest, emotionally powerful account of Iran's revolution up to 2012. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Brian Griffith
(Disclaimer: the reviewer has no professional experience with Iran and indeed, has never visited that country. Read morePublished 10 months ago by James R. Maclean
I will start by noting that his previous work, Empire of the Mind, is one of my favorite works on Iran. Read morePublished on March 7, 2014 by P. O'Neil
Axworthy, a former British Foreign Service officer, has produced a disappointing volume that fails to uphold the usual standards of Oxford University Press. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by CSherrill
A really excellent history of the Iranian revolution, rich in relevant detail, protraits of the partiicipants, and insight. (Sanford Lakoff, Pol. Sci., UCSD)Published on January 25, 2014 by Sanford Lakoff
Michael Axworthy's Revolutionary Iran is a history of modern Iran, particularly the last 35 years after the fall of the Shah. Read morePublished on November 19, 2013 by M. Pitcavage