Unthinkable Revolution in Iran

ISBN-10: 0674018435

ISBN-13: 9780674018433

Edition: 2004

Authors: Charles Kurzman
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Description: The shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, would remain on the throne for the foreseeable future: This was the firm conclusion of a top-secret CIA analysis issued in October 1978. One hundred days later the shah--despite his massive military, fearsome security police, and superpower support--was overthrown by a popular and largely peaceful revolution. But the CIA was not alone in its myopia, as Charles Kurzman reveals in this penetrating work; Iranians themselves, except for a tiny minority, considered a revolution inconceivable until it actually occurred. Revisiting the circumstances surrounding the fall of the shah, Kurzman offers rare insight into the nature and evolution of the Iranian revolution and into the ultimate unpredictability of protest movements in general. "When Elias Canetti, the Nobel-prize winning theorist, spoke of a people's 'propensity to incendiarism, ' he had in mind one of the most dangerous traits of mass gatherings: their potential for unpredictable combustibility. Iran's Islamic revolution, like many other uprisings, was a consummate instance of this, Kurzman argues, and he continues in Canetti's tradition by using the shah's overthrow to engage in his own meditation on crowds and power." --Publishers Weekly

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Book details

List price: $31.50
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/6/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 304
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.726
Language: English

Charles Kurzman is Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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