Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (khōmā´nē), 1900–1989, Iranian Shiite religious leader. Educated in Islam at home and in theological schools, in the 1950s he was designated ayatollah, a supreme religious leader, in the Iranian Shiite community. Khomeini's criticisms of Reza Shah Pahlevi led to his exile in 1964. Settling in Iraq, Khomeini continued his outspoken denunciations, developing a strong religious and political following abroad, until forced to leave (1978) by Saddam Hussein; he then moved to France. Following the revolution that deposed Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlevi, Khomeini returned triumphantly to Iran in 1979, declared an Islamic republic, and began to exercise ultimate authority in the nation. His conservative ideology opposed pro-Western tendencies. Khomeini's rule was marked by the Iran hostage crisis and the Iran-Iraq War.

See biography by B. Moin (2000).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

From Zarathustra to Khomeini: Populism and Dissent in Iran
Manochehr Dorraj.
Lynne Rienner, 1990
The Leader, the Led, and the Psyche: Essays in Psychohistory
Bruce Mazlish.
University Press of New England, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 10 "The Hidden Khomeini"
The History of Iran
Elton L. Daniel.
Greenwood Press, 2001
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 8 "Khomeini and the Islamic Revolution" and Chap. 9 "The Khomeini Era"
Fundamentalism in Comparative Perspective
Lawrence Kaplan.
University of Massachusetts Press, 1992
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Khomeini: A Fundamentalist?"
Iran after Khomeini
Shireen T. Hunter.
Praeger Publishers, 1992
After Khomeini: New Directions in Iran's Foreign Policy
K. L. Afrasiabi.
Westview Press, 1994
After Khomeini: The Iranian Second Republic
Anoushiravan Ehteshami.
Routledge, 1995
The Making of Iran's Islamic Revolution: From Monarchy to Islamic Republic
Mohsen M. Milani.
Westview Press, 1994 (2nd edition)
Librarian’s tip: Includes discussion of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in multiple chapters
Voices of Resurgent Islam
John L. Esposito.
Oxford University Press, 1983
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "Imam Khomeini: Four Levels of Understanding"
The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution
Shaul Bakhash.
Basic Books, 1990 (Revised edition)
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 2 "Khomaini: The 'Idol Smasher'" and Chap. 12 "The End of the Khomaini Decade"
Revolution and War
Stephen M. Walt.
Cornell University Press, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Khomeini's Revolutionary Program" begins on p. 212
Parliamentary Politics in Revolutionary Iran: The Institutionalization of Factional Politics
Bahman Baktiari.
University Press of Florida, 1996
Librarian’s tip: "Khomeini and the June 1963 Uprising" begins on p. 43
Islamic Organizations in Egypt and the Iranian Revolution of 1979: The Experience of the First Few Years
Abdelnasser, Walid M.
Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), Vol. 19, No. 2, Spring 1997
Spirit Matters: The Worldwide Impact of Religion on Contemporary Politics
Richard L. Rubenstein.
Paragon House Publishers, 1987
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "The Impact of Religion on Contemporary Politics: The Case of Iran"
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