By Ervand Abrahamian
In a reappraisal of Iran's sleek heritage, Ervand Abrahamian lines its stressful trip around the 20th century, during the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of thumb of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the delivery of the Islamic Republic. within the intervening years, the rustic has skilled a sour battle with Iraq, the transformation of society below the clergy and, extra lately, the growth of the kingdom and the fight for strength among the outdated elites, the intelligentsia and the industrial center type. the writer is a compassionate expositor. whereas he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's neighborhood and overseas politics, on the middle of his booklet are the folk of Iran. it really is to them and their resilience that this booklet is devoted, as Iran emerges at the start of the twenty-first century as some of the most strong states within the heart East.
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Additional info for A History of Modern Iran
Courtiers hailed him Justice Dispenser, Supreme Arbiter, Commander of the Faithful, Guardian of the Flock, and Pivot of the Universe. The state was merely an extension of his royal person; the royal person, like traditional rulers the world over, was sovereign. By the later twentieth century, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini ruled with such innovative titles as Rahbar-e Enqelab (Leader of the Revolution), Rahbar-e Mostazafen (Leader of the Dispossessed), and Bonyadgar-e Jomhuri-ye Islam (Founder of the Islamic Republic).
The Education Ministry spent most of its limited resources on the Dar al-Fanon (Abode of Learning), a high school established in 1852 to train personnel for the army and the civil service. ” By 1900, it had 300 students. ”19 Instructors were recruited mostly from France to counter British and Russian influence. The commerce ministry was confined to the few ports on the Caspian and the Persian Gulf. The ministry of posts and telegraph – “owned” until the 1910s by the Mukhber al-Dowleh family – was nominally in charge of both the postal system established in 1876 and the telegraph lines introduced by the British in 1856 to link London with Bombay.
24 Local notables also bought titles, offices, and tuyuls. ”25 These notables can be described as a landed aristocracy. They derived much of their income from agriculture and were known colloquially as arbabs (land proprietors) and omdeh-e maleks (large landowners). Mehdi Bambad, in his multi-volume biographies of the Qajar era, identifies 1,283 personages. 27 In addition to owning land, the senior ulama enjoyed extensive authority. As maraj-e taqlids (sources of emulation), they were respected as spiritual and legal guides.