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Nikki Keddie

Nikki Keddie is a professor of history at the University of California in Los Angeles. Her books include Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran.

Khomeini’s Rule

Nikki Keddie, 7 March 1985

To the student of revolution, the Iranian revolution of 1978-79 must appear both strange and strangely familiar. It appears familiar because the revolution, in its causes and us course, fits largely into the pattern of ‘great’ revolutions set out by such students of comparative revolution as Crane Brinton. Brinton’s typology, more descriptive than explanatory, sees revolution as starting with an internal crisis in the old regime, proceeding to a government of moderate revolutionaries, then to a radical ‘reign of terror and virtue’, which leads to a ‘Thermidor’ in which order is restored but some gains of the revolution are maintained. Both books under review, Bashiriyeh’s explicitly and Bakhash’s implicitly, present the Iranian revolution as fitting into this general pattern – a pattern discerned by Brinton in the French, American and Russian revolutions, but which is also largely applicable to the English Civil War, for example, or the Chinese Revolution.’

Before the Revolution

J.D. Gurney, 2 July 1981

For the past two and a half years scarcely a week has gone by without some new event in Iran capturing the newspaper headlines. The quickening pace of the Revolution from the late summer of 1978,...

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