In Revolutionary Iran, Michael Axworthy guides us through recent Iranian history from shortly before the 1979 Islamic revolution through the summer of 2009, when Iranians poured into the streets of Tehran by the hundreds of thousands, demanding free, democratic government. Axworthy explains how that outpouring of support for an end to tyranny in Iran paused and then moved on to other areas in the region like Egypt and Libya, leaving Iran's leadership unchanged.
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was a defining moment of the modern
era. Its success unleashed a wave of Islamist fervor across the
Middle East and signaled a sharp decline in the appeal of Western
ideologies in the Islamic world. Axworthy takes readers through the
major periods in Iranian history over the last thirty years: the
overthrow of the old regime and the creation of the new one; the
Iran-Iraq war; the reconstruction era following the war; the
reformist wave led by Mohammed Khatami; and the present day, in
which reactionaries have re-established control. Throughout, he
emphasizes that the Iranian revolution was centrally important in
modern history because it provided the world with a clear model of
development that was not rooted in Western ideologies. Whereas the
world's major revolutions of the previous two centuries had been
fuelled by Western, secular ideologies, the Iranian Revolution drew
its inspiration from Islam.
Revolutionary Iran is both richly textured and from one of
the leading authorities on the region; combining an expansive scope
with the most accessible and definitive account of this epoch in
all its humanity.