Cover: The Quest for Democracy in Iran: A Century of Struggle against Authoritarian Rule, from Harvard University PressCover: The Quest for Democracy in Iran in PAPERBACK

The Quest for Democracy in Iran

A Century of Struggle against Authoritarian Rule

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674057067

Publication Date: 09/30/2010

Short

512 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

20 halftones

World

Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

The Constitutional Revolution of 1906 launched Iran as a pioneer in a broad-based movement to establish democratic rule in the non-Western world. In a book that provides essential context for understanding modern Iran, Fakhreddin Azimi traces a century of struggle for the establishment of representative government.

The promise of constitutional rule was cut short in the 1920s with the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty. Reza Shah, whose despotic rule Azimi deftly captures, maintained the façade of a constitutional monarch but greeted any challenge with an iron fist: “I will eliminate you,” he routinely barked at his officials. In 1941, fearful of losing control of the oil-rich region, the Allies forced Reza Shah to abdicate but allowed Mohammad Reza to succeed his father. Though promising to abide by the constitution, the new Shah missed no opportunity to undermine it.

The Anglo-American–backed coup of 1953, which ousted reformist premier Mohammed Mosaddeq, dealt a blow to the constitutionalists. The Shah’s repressive policies and subservience to the United States radicalized both secular and religious opponents, leading to the revolution of 1979. Azimi argues that we have fundamentally misunderstood this event by characterizing it as an “Islamic” revolution when it was in reality the expression of a long-repressed desire for popular sovereignty. This explains why the clerical rulers have failed to counter the growing public conviction that the Islamic Republic, too, is impervious to political reform—and why the democratic impulse that began with the Constitutional Revolution continues to be a potent and resilient force.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2010 Mossadegh Prize, Mossadegh Foundation
  • 2008–2009 Saidi-Sirjani Award, International Society for Iranian Studies
  • Finalist, 2009 Connecticut Book Award, Non-Fiction Category, Connecticut Center for the Book

Share This

Holiday Sale / 30% off sitewide with code HOL22
Getting to Diversity: What Works and What Doesn’t, by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Composite photograph showing (top) entrance to the Prudential Center in Boston and (bottom) an internal construction partition/wall printed with the words 'Opening Day 2023' and other decorative text

A New Chapter for Harvard Book Store

Starting in the summer of 2023, for the first time in almost thirty years, Harvard Book Store will have two locations: the flagship store in Harvard Square, and a large new store in the Prudential Center in Boston. For University Press Week we wanted to show some bookseller love, so we reached out to Rachel Cass, General Manager of the Harvard Book Store, to see what’s planned for their exciting new location