Book Notes

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published in MER113

Sepehr Zabih, The Mossadegh Era: Roots of the Iranian Revolution (Chicago: Lakeview Press, 1982).

A sympathetic narrative of Mossadeq’s tenure as prime minister from April 1951 to August 1953, to the point of being unable to criticize some of the National Front’s more serious blunders. Zabih also exhibits a marked hostility to the Tudeh Party. While a number of useful factual details are provided, there is no insight into the social bases of Mossadeq’s support and no apparent understanding of the socioeconomic conditions which led to both the successes and failures of the National Front.

Eric Hooglund

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Keddie, Roots of Revolution

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Nikki R. Keddie, Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran (with a section by Yann Richard) (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1981).

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Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions

by Eric Hooglund
published in MER113

Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982).

A major lesson of the Iranian revolution was how poorly students of the Middle East understood the social and political forces there. This was a country which had been the object of more official and academic study than perhaps any other state in the region except Israel. Yet even four years after the revolution, the dearth of first-rate studies of Iranian society remains apparent.

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Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran

by Azar Tabari
published in MER113

Eric Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982.)

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Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran

by Misagh Parsa
published in MER113

Eric Hooglund, Land and Revolution in Iran (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982).

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Mossadeq's Legacy in Iran Today

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Hedayat Matin-Daftari, a lawyer who prominently defended human rights in Iran under the Shah, participated actively in the revolution. Matin-Daftari, widely known in Iran as the grandson and political heir of former Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq, is a founder and leader of the National Democratic Front, which includes many independent Iranian socialists. Fred Halliday spoke with him in London in late 1981 and the summer of 1982.

Was the clerical dictatorship inevitable?

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Workers' Control After the Revolution

by Asef Bayat
published in MER113

In the months preceeding the February armed insurrection which led to the downfall of the Pahlavi regime, the term shura (council) appeared frequently in the speeches and literature of various political tendencies ranging from the Islamic right to the leftist organizations. The most ardent advocates of the shuras were the left organizations, including the Mojahedin, with an emphasis on workers’ shuras. Now, four years into the Islamic Republic, it is clear that repression was not the only cause of failure of these shuras. The question is to what extent the workers could manage to exert control within an overall framework of social relations.

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Bazaar and Mosque in Iran's Revolution

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Ahmad Ashraf is a sociologist who studied and later taught at Tehran University and the New School in New York City. Ashraf is the author of “Historical Obstacles to the Development of the Bourgeoisie in Iran,” Iranian Studies 2/1-2 (Spring and Summer 1969). Ervand Abrahamian spoke with him in New York City in February 1983.

Of the many classes and groups that participated in the Iranian revolution, which have won the fruits of victory?

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The Reconstruction Crusade and Class Conflict in Iran

by Emad Ferdows
published in MER113

The Islamic Republic’s revolutionary credentials are, apart from foreign policy, largely based on the activities of the so-called revolutionary organizations created shortly after the February 1979 uprising. Operating through these popular organizations, the regime signaled a new beginning for millions of Iranians, especially the young, who had been deprived of meaningful social and political activity. In the last three years, these organizations have been the main channel of upward social mobility for clergy and lay people alike. Much of the course of the Iranian revolution and the social basis of the present regime can be discerned in the records of these new institutions.

"A Dictatorship Under the Name of Islam"

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The following interview was conducted with Sheikh Izzedin Husseini during a visit he made to Paris in October 1982. This was the sheikh’s first trip outside Iran, and he had taken advantage of his stay in the French capital to go out and have a look at the city—“unlike Khomeini, when he was here,” the sheikh remarked. Later in 1982, Sheikh Izzedin returned to Iranian Kurdistan, as heavy fighting between the Kurdish peshmergas and government forces continued. —Fred Halliday 

What is your view of relations between the Kurds and the central government since the revolution?

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