The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution

The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution

The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution

The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution

Excerpt

In February 1979, the fifty-year-old Pahlavi monarchy collapsed in a brief two-day popular uprising. The uprising delivered the coup de grâce to a regime that had already been battered and broken by a year of street clashes, strikes, and demonstrations. The Shah had already left the country. His leading courtiers and officials were abroad. His generals were no longer at their posts. The writ of the government he had left behind barely extended beyond the building housing the office of the prime minister. The revolutionaries were in control of the streets, and strike committees of the instruments of administration. On 10 and 11 February, the people of Tehran took over the physical symbols of government: the military barracks, the police stations, the government buildings. Bearded revolutionaries sat in the offices of ministers; turbaned mollahs occupied the palaces of kings.

This is a book about the course and consequences of the revolution that has convulsed Iran over the past five years. In writing it, I have sought to provide a political history of the revolution, to trace the emerging institutional structure of the Islamic Republic, and to describe the ideology and aims that actuate Iran's new rulers.

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