Iran Revolution

Michael Axworthy makes the point that, along with the French and Russian Revolutions, the Iranian Revolution was the third great modern revolution. The French Revolution was supposedly the ‘bourgeois” revolution. The Russian Revolution was the “proletariat” revolution. The Iranian Revolution was the “Islamic” revolution. Axworthy argues that we must move away from these facile characterizations and look at the deeper, more complex forces at work in each revolution, especially the Iranian Revolution.

Students will submit a 6 to 8 page paper in which you will offer analysis of Michael Axworthy’s Revolutionary Iran: A History of the Islamic Republic.

No outside research is needed. Your only source for this paper will be Axworthy’s text.

Your paper must contain each of the following elements.

1. A main argument/thesis presented in your introduction that makes a specific claim about the Iranian Revolution. Focus on the points Axworthy makes regarding it being a complex modern phenomenon.
You can say something about its impact, the role of the West, Western revolutionary trends and methods used in this revolution, the role of class in Iranian society, etc

2. Your paper must address and analyze the following points: the role of the US in Iranian affairs/revolution; Westernization/modernization in Iran before, during and after the revolution; social class and rural/urban differences in the revolution; state violence before the Revolution as conducted by the Shah; use of religion as unifying force for revolution; the Iran-Iraq War’s impact on the revolution, the legacy/meaning of the revolution for Iran today.

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