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eBook The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran epub

by Charles Kurzman

eBook The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran epub
  • ISBN: 067401328X
  • Author: Charles Kurzman
  • Genre: Science
  • Subcategory: Earth Sciences
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (April 30, 2004)
  • Pages: 304 pages
  • ePUB size: 1727 kb
  • FB2 size 1494 kb
  • Formats lrf mbr lrf rtf


Charles Kurzman has presented a meticulous anatomy of the Iranian revolution and has dexterously treated the anomalies usually inherent in revolutions.

Charles Kurzman has presented a meticulous anatomy of the Iranian revolution and has dexterously treated the anomalies usually inherent in revolutions. The author shifts through revolution theories and shows with pages and pages of documentation and references how they related to the Iranian revolution or missed it. Kurzman's opus is certainly a valuable contribution to the historiography and sociological analysis of an important revolution of our age that led to a large scale politicization of Islam in those parts of the world where this religion prevailed.

Coupled with this broad indictment in The Unthinkable Revolution in. Iran are critiques targeted at what Kurzman . main thesis, it proceeds in the same mode as those explanations that the. book dismisses for their partial validity and constitutive defect. Iran are critiques targeted at what Kurzman labels the political, orga-. nizational, cultural, economic, and military explanations of revolutions.

The shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, would remain on the throne for the .

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. 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. A corrective to 20-20 hindsight, this book reveals shortcomings of analyses that make the Iranian revolution or any major protest movement seem inevitable in retrospect.

Harvard University Press 2004 With the move to military government in November 1978, Kurzman considers the .

Harvard University Press 2004. With the move to military government in November 1978, Kurzman considers the failure of force. The Shah's illness and lack of leadership played a role, as did the military's divisions and the risks of troop fraternization. The actual text of The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran barely comes to 170 pages, with another 110 devoted to ancillary material, which includes an excellent ten page essay "About the Sources" as well as detailed notes, a bibliography, and an index.

Start by marking The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran as Want to Read .

Start by marking The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran as Want to Read: Want to Read savin. ant to Read. As one Iranian recalls, "The future was up in the ai. 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.

The unthinkable revolution in Iran. The confused experience of revolution. M Browers, C Kurzman. Lexington Books, 2004. Harvard University Press, 2009. Modernist Islam, 1840-1940: a sourcebook. Oxford University Press, USA, 2002. Philosophy of the social sciences 34 (3), 328-351, 2004.

Charles Kurzman (author). 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. His book provides a striking picture of the chaotic conditions under which Iranians acted, participating in protest only when they expected others to do so too, the process approaching critical mass in unforeseen and unforeseeable ways.

The Iran Hostage Crisis, a Chronology of Daily Developments: Report, . Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Library of Congress. The Unthinkable Revolution in Iran, Charles Kurzman. Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division. Government Printing Office, 1981. Harvard University Press, 2004. Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi.

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.

As one Iranian recalls, "The future was up in the air." Through interviews and eyewitness accounts, declassified security documents and underground pamphlets, Kurzman documents the overwhelming sense of confusion that gripped pre-revolutionary Iran, and that characterizes major protest movements. His book provides a striking picture of the chaotic conditions under which Iranians acted, participating in protest only when they expected others to do so too, the process approaching critical mass in unforeseen and unforeseeable ways. Only when large numbers of Iranians began to "think the unthinkable," in the words of the U.S. ambassador, did revolutionary expectations become a self-fulfilling prophecy. A corrective to 20-20 hindsight, this book reveals shortcomings of analyses that make the Iranian revolution or any major protest movement seem inevitable in retrospect.

Comments: (7)
Heraly
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HelloBoB:D
School book
Whitestone
Haven't read it yet but the value is there.
Llbery
Working within a relatively small timeframe (1977-1979), Kurzman methodically examines five explanatory paradigms which have hitherto been mobilized to explain the success of the Iranian Islamic Revolution. Emplotting each paradigm on a brisk narrative of the revolution itself, he begins with the political explanations (attributing the revolution to increased liberalization), organizational explanations (focusing on mosque and university networks), cultural explanations (pointing to the utilization of 40 day martyrdom mourning cycle as a means of sustaining protest), economic explanations (citing the gridlock caused by the nation-wide strikes in key industries), and military explanations (pointing to the feeble attempts of the Shah's forces to restore state control). Each of these he finds inadequate and only some completely false. At best, an explanation remains partial but not compelling for the whole. Moreover, they demonstrate a consistent occurrence of the `inversion of cause and effect', e.g., student mobilization created the utility of the mosque networks, mobilization led to the state's economic crisis, not vice versa.
Kurzman attempts to cut the Gordian knot by offering his own `anti-explanation'-namely, the revolution succeeded when it become viable in the minds of its core constituents. This `anti-explanation', he asserts, is non-predictive because it depends on the anomalous nature of the agency of social actors. What is left for the sociologist is to strive for an understanding of a peculiar, unique event.
This deconstructive enterprise is essentially a treatise against retroactive prediction that argues rather for sociological reconstructions of historical events rather an attempt to derive patterns for the sake of being able to predict when future, nascent revolutions are about to occur. Kurzman unconsciously it seems has merely constructed an argument for the values of social-history over sociology as such. Where his novel, so-called `anti-explanation' differs from what we call `history' eludes me.
Overall, the writing in the book is fluid, lucid and accompanied by a nice balance of anecdote and analysis. His usage of jargon is sparse and rare-limited mostly to a few quotes from famous sociologists such as Bourdieu and Parsons. He demonstrates a familiarity with Persian culture and language that manifests itself in many subtle ways through the work. General readers, historians and sociologists will find this book an immensely rewarding study.
Kelezel
The Iranian Revolution was totally unexpected before it happened. It is difficult to fathom this essential truth after the fact. The Shah had the military and secret service as well as wealth to put down any revolution it was assumed. In any case material progress and modernization were moving ahead to provide benefits and quell discontent. The Revolution didn't care! It came anyway. But it could not be predicted by any of the social sciences: economics, political science, sociology, etc. Nor by religion.
Kurzman, himself a Sociologist, uses each chapter to apply these disciplinary viewpoints and show their limitations in explaining events. Circumstances, and personal decisions, became crucial when enough people changed their own expectations to believe that revolution might really be possible - to think the unthinkable.. Khomeini was critical for this but as a catalyst for various grievances both liberal and revolutionary to seem to have a chance of success.
Close examination in each chapter show anomalies, confusion, lack of central control. Culture contributed but was remade in the process. Shi'a religious organization gave it some coordination and direction lacking for many other elements but can not be said to be solely responsible for the revolution.
Two important corollaries follow from this, although Kurzman makes little of either.
First the Fundamentalist Iranian Revolution is not the Bogeyman that many see. It inspired enthusiasm among some Muslims in various parts of the world but was not a model to be copied. It was not "typical" of Islam (among other things Iran was Shi'a with a somewhat unique religious elite unlike Ulema or Sufis elsewhere). There were many motives and supporters that were practical and not `religious'. US antipathy is more a knee jerk reaction than based on understanding of Iran or of Islam.
Also it is clear that the various social sciences and traditional approaches to explaining revolution need History - each situation is unique and "unthinkable" before it happens; there exist not sufficient "laws" to predict revolution. None of the disciplinary approaches hold together without history too.
Kurzman's book is interesting therefore in numerous ways: the description of the Revolution; the acts and thoughts of individual participants; the anomalies and limitations of causation theory of various social sciences. The policy implications are consequential and should not be ignored.
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