The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran

Robin Wright, Author, Robin Wright, Photographer Alfred A. Knopf $27.5 (368p) ISBN 978-0-375-40639-3
Few Western journalists are more familiar with postrevolutionary Iran than Wright (In the Name of God: The Khomeini Decade, etc.). Wright first traveled to Iran as a young reporter in 1973 and has made dozens of excursions to the country since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Going beneath the veil, as it were, of contemporary Iran, Wright reveals several cultural trends that have occurred inside the political revolution itself and argues that these ""revolutions within the revolution"" will be lasting. She shows not just how Islam has impacted Iran but how the people of Iran have impacted Islam, liberalizing it and setting in motion changes that will be as far-reaching for Islam as the Reformation was for Christianity. Wright paints a fascinating portrait of a complex society in which women--despite headscarves--enjoy considerable empowerment in the workplace and politics, in which the arts thrive and there is greater religious tolerance than many readers will have supposed (Iranian Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians enjoy their own reserved seats in Parliament). Wright argues that the results of all these combined religious, political and cultural trends will eventually mark Iran's as the last great revolution of the modern era, on a par with the French and Russian revolutions. Wright's combination of reportorial immediacy and historical perspective makes her book the most accessible guide yet to a country where the battle between modernity and tradition is heating up. Illus. not seen by PW. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/03/2000
Release date: 01/01/2000
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-375-70630-1
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