By Ervand Abrahamian
In a reappraisal of Iran's sleek historical past, Ervand Abrahamian lines its hectic trip around the 20th century, in the course of the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the guideline of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the beginning of the Islamic Republic. within the intervening years, the rustic has skilled a sour conflict with Iraq, the transformation of society below the clergy and, extra lately, the growth of the nation and the fight for energy among the previous elites, the intelligentsia and the economic heart category. the writer is a compassionate expositor. whereas he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's neighborhood and overseas politics, on the center of his e-book are the folk of Iran. it really is to them and their resilience that this e-book is devoted, as Iran emerges initially of the twenty-first century as the most robust states within the heart East.
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Extra info for A History of Modern Iran
Tehran alone had more than forty of them throughout the various wards – many were financed by local notables. Rowzehkhanis also reenacted powerful scenes from the life of Imam Hussein and his companions. By the end of the century, taziyehs “Royal despots”: state and society under the Qajars 17 incorporated happier scenes to celebrate such joyous occasions as safe returns from travel or recoveries from serious illness. 32 What is more, Ashura was immediately followed with the Feast of Zahra, also known as the Feast of Laughter, celebrating Caliph Omar’s assassination at the hands of a Persian Muslim.
Names parents choose for their children are living proof of this: from Shi’ism come Ali, Mehdi, Reza, Hussein, Hassan, and Fatemeh; from ancient Iran, via the poet Ferdowsi and his epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings), come Isfandiyar, Iskandar, Rostam, Sohrab, Ardashir, Kaveh, Bahram, and Atossa. This tenth-century epic continues to be widely read into the modern age. Although national identity is often deemed to be a modern invention, the Shahnameh refers to Iran by name more than one thousand times, and the whole epic can be read as a mythical history of the Iranian nation.
As peasants became more indebted, especially for seeds, they became more like bonded serfs. ”49 Benjamin, the American diplomat, wrote that landlords could not extort too much simply because peasants had the ability to escape to other villages. “This,” he explained, is why people are “not poor” and “speak up their minds . .
A History of Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian