Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Iran's Quiet Revolution
The Downfall of the Pahlavi State


Part of The Global Middle East

  • Date Published: August 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108725323

£ 22.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Offering a new perspective on Iran's politics and culture in the 1960s and 1970s, Ali Mirsepassi challenges the prevailing view of pre-Revolution Iran, documenting how the cultural elites of the Pahlavi State promoted a series of striking 'Gharbzadegi' or 'Westoxification' discourses. Intended as ideological alternatives to modern and Western-inspired cultural attitudes, these influenced Persian identity politics, and projected Iranian modernity as a 'mistaken modernity' despite the regime's own ferocious modernisation programme. Focusing on the cultural transformations which defined the period, Mirsepassi sheds new light on the Pahlavi State as an ideological gambler, inadvertently empowering its fundamentalist enemies and spreading a 'quiet revolution' through secular and religious civil society. Proposing a new theoretical framework for understanding the anti-modern discourses of Ahmad Fardid, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, and Ali Shari'ati, Iran's Quiet Revolution is a radical re-interpretation of twentieth century Iranian political history which makes sense of these events within the creative, yet tragic Iranian nation-making experience.

    • Offers a radical re-interpretation of Iran's politics and culture in the 1960s and 1970s
    • Challenges current scholarly accounts of Iran's attitudes towards the West and modernity before the Iranian Revolution
    • Contextualises political events within a broader time-frame of twentieth century Iranian political history
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Mirsepassi interprets the Pahlavi monarchy's collapse during the 1979 revolution as resulting from internal tensions, which originated among Iranian cultural and political elites seeking a merger of Persian and Shi'a traditions while rejecting a vision of corrupt materialistic Westernization to achieve a purified spiritualism … Recommended.' D. A. Meier, Choice

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108725323
    • length: 250 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. The Quiet Revolution
    1. The 'Anti-Modern' allure
    2. De-politicizing Westoxification: the case of 'Bonyad monthly'
    3. Ehsan Naraghi: chronicle of a man for all seasons
    4. Iranian cinema's 'Quiet Revolution '(1960s-70s)
    5. 'Bearing witness' to Iranian modernities
    6. The Shah: a modern mystic?
    7. The imaginary invention of a nation: Iran in 1930s and 1970s
    8. An elective affinity: variations of Gharbzadegi.

  • Author

    Ali Mirsepassi, New York University
    Ali Mirsepassi is the Albert Gallatin Research Excellence Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at Gallatin and in the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies in the Faculty of Arts and Science at New York University where he is also the director of the Iranian Studies Initiative. He is the author of numerous books including Islam, Democracy, and Cosmopolitanism (Cambridge, 2014), Transnationalism in Iranian Political Thought: The Life and Times of Ahmad Fardid (Cambridge, 2017), Iran's Troubled Modernity: Debating Ahmad Fardid's Legacy (Cambridge, 2018) and co-editor of The Global Middle East series, with Arshin Adib-Moghaddam.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.