Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs

Ray Takeyh


Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs

Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs

  • Title: Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • ISBN: 9780195327847
  • Page: 286
  • Format: Hardcover



For over a quarter century, Iran has been one of America s chief nemeses Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979, the relationship between the two nations has been antagonistic revolutionary guards chanting against the Great Satan, Bush fulminating against the Axis of Evil, Iranian support for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S for theFor over a quarter century, Iran has been one of America s chief nemeses Ever since Ayatollah Khomeini overthrew the Shah in 1979, the relationship between the two nations has been antagonistic revolutionary guards chanting against the Great Satan, Bush fulminating against the Axis of Evil, Iranian support for Hezbollah, and President Ahmadinejad blaming the U.S for the world s ills The unending war of words suggests an intractable divide between Iran and the West, one that may very well lead to a shooting war in the near future But as Ray Takeyh shows in this accessible and authoritative history of Iran s relations with the world since the revolution, behind the famous personalities and extremist slogans is a nation that is far pragmatic and complex than many in the West have been led to believe Takeyh explodes many of our simplistic myths of Iran as an intransigently Islamist foe of the West Tracing the course of Iranian policy since the 1979 revolution, Takeyh identifies four distinct periods the revolutionary era of the 1980s, the tempered gradualism following the death of Khomeini and the end of the Iran Iraq war in 1989, the reformist period from 1997 2005 under President Khatami, and the shift toward confrontation and radicalism since the election of President Ahmadinejad in 2005 Takeyh shows that three powerful forces Islamism, pragmatism, and great power pretensions have competed in each of these periods, and that Iran s often paradoxical policies are in reality a series of compromises between the hardliners and the moderates, often with wild oscillations between pragmatism and ideological dogmatism The U.S s task, Takeyh argues, is to find strategies that address Iran s objectionable behavior without demonizing this key player in an increasingly vital and volatile region With its clear sighted grasp of both nuance and historical sweep, Guardians of the Revolution will stand as the standard work on this controversial and central actor in world politics for years to come.


Recent Comments "Guardians of the Revolution: Iran and the World in the Age of the Ayatollahs"

As one would expect from a Council of Foreign Relations publication, Guardians of the Revolution not only fails to disappoint, but delivers immeasurably in its chronicling and analysis of post 1979 Iran.Speaking as a post Graduate who wrote an MA Dissertation on Iran, this highly readable volume has delivered a great deal of insight into, what was for myself at least, a very familiar subject matter.Guardians of the Revolution has the revelatory aspect rarely found in modern scholarship, comparab [...]

This book looks at Iran's foreign policy, from the 1979 revolution until the Ahmadinejad regime. The author does a good job of discussing the motivations and backgrounds of the actors involved, and hence shows how Iranian politicians have a number of different approaches to foreign relations. However, it does not appear that the author has visited Iran, or interviewed any Iranians in the West, which I think weakens the book a bit, since he is often making inferences based on the individuals' pub [...]

This book was a great look at the internal politics of post-revolutionary Iran. It gave a good sense of the rifts between the "old guard" of the revolution and the "new right." Takeyh clearly illustrates the process by which Iran has become less democratic. He takes the reader through the internal struggle that has taken place since the revolution, which saw the hardliners take over the government in 2005, push out the reformists, and finalize their centralization of power. He also shows the way [...]

this is a well referenced and researched book that attempts to examine the revoloutaionary iran, first 50 pages are much chronichled so i knew them already but the rest was engaging although it details the support of the clerics for terrorism it does not shed any light to the actual symetrical and much more sucessful operations of mossad, i think its for cfr so it has its american bias but it still tries to be anlytical. its an illuminating book that goes beyond the simplistic depiction of iran [...]

A thorough dense book about the Iranian revolution, Ray Takeyh's book is a pretty good summary of the past 30 or 40 years of Iranian politics. I also think that's it's non-biased, maybe a too dull. He lists both American and Iranian policy failures, and the Persian/Arab Sunni/Shia regional hegemonic rivalries. It's not exactly paradigm shifting, but a good book.

An excellent account of Iranian domestic politics and affairs since the Revolution. Highlights include explanations of regional perspectives of Iran after the Iran-Iraq war, the Reformist movement, the Green Revolution and other facets of recent Iranian history.

Written by a professor of mine at Georgetown who also (I believe) is affiliated with CFR. Provided an excellent understanding of Iranian political dynamics that I was able to follow without any academic background in the country, but which colleagues who did felt offered new analysis.

This is a thorough and balanced account if the historical relationship between the US and Iran. I found that it provided an excellent basis for understanding current events related to Iran.

Decent overview of Iranian political dynamics.


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    Published :2018-08-14T20:23:50+00:00