This book is the first modern theory of Iranian history. It explains Iran's history and politics - past, recent and present - and solves many of the puzzles that both lay and professional observers have long felt about them. For example, it shows why there was a revolution in 1905-6 for democracy and modernisation, and one in 1977-79 for an Islamic republic (or Communist state). Or why many of the Iranians who, in 1979, angrily supported the occupation and hostage-taking of American diplomats in Tehran, are w emotionally pro-American and wish that the United States would help them directly in changing Iran's regime. The book offers a completely new and alternative approach to the understanding of Iranian history, politics and society, and its consequences for political action and behaviour in that country.
Homa Katouzian is a social scientist and literary critic. He has taught at various universities, including UCLA and the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. An Associate Member of the Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford, his publications include State and Society in Iran (2000), Sadeq Hedayat: The Life and Legend of an Iranian Writer (1991), Musaddiq and the Struggle for Power in Iran (1990), The Political Economy of Modern Iran (1981) and Ideology and Method in Economics (1980).