Excellent – Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic

Michael Axworthy writes very well. Readers looking for a readable history of the causes that led to the fall of the Shah in 1979 to the setting up of the Islamic Republic and a narrative of the political leadership of the various Presidents till 2014 will appreciate this book. Finishing this book confirms my belief that the Iranian President whoever he is, a reformer or a hardliner, doesn’t really matter. It is the spiritual leader the Ayatollah and the Guardian Council that has the power to exclude any candidate from running for President that actually runs the government. In that sense then, I would have like more analysis of the spiritual leaders.

The history of the Islamic Republic is also so complex and fast moving since 2013 due to the repudiation of the nuclear deal by Trump and the reimposition of stronger sanctions that this book, which I read in 2015, is no longer the book to read for a history of present – day Iran.

With the 40th anniversary of the revolution coming up in 2019 hopefully a new updated edition will be issued.

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