The Road to Democracy in Iran

Akbar Ganji, Author, Joshua Cohen, Foreword by, Abbas Milani, Foreword by
Akbar Ganji, Author, Joshua Cohen, Foreword by, Abbas Milani, Foreword by MIT Press (MA) $14.95 (113p) ISBN 978-0-262-07295-3
Reviewed on: 03/31/2008
Release date: 04/01/2008
Open Ebook - 113 pages - 978-1-282-09940-1
Hardcover - 144 pages - 978-0-262-27345-9
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Ganji, a former commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, worked as an investigative journalist for Iran's pro-democracy newspapers before a six year imprisonment cut his career short; here, he collects four lucid essays on the means by which Iran can obtain a peaceful, democratic future. Ganji envisions universal human rights and new attitudes toward religion both at home and abroad, while recognizing the long path-evolutionary, not revolutionary-necessary to achieve these goals: ""Changing people's attitudes is easily one of the slowest human processes... Much of what needs to change in Iranian culture relates to the superstition, dogmatism, conformism, and prejudice that have permeated our society."" He also offers cogent assessment of specific obstacles to understanding (""Together Islam and the West must free themselves of the shackles of their historical memories"") and why sound, peaceful methods for overcoming them are needed: ""In the wake of revolutionary violence many people would remain at best indifferent to the ideals and institutions of a new government and, indeed, would likely feel alienated from it."" This slim volume will be of particular interest to scholars and activists concerned with human rights, the Middle East or Islam.
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