The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran
By Said Amir Arjomand
Oxford, 1988, 283 pp
Edited by Hooshang Amirahmadi and Manoucher Parvin
Westview Press, 1988, 262 pp
Said Arjomand may overestimate the historic significance of the Iranian Revolution-he ranks it with 1789 and 1917-both in its impact on the world and in its durability. He has written, however, with knowledge and wisdom on how the "hierocracy" of clerics built and consolidated its power through a revolutionary transformation of traditional Shi'ism as well as of the structure of the state. It is an insightful and illuminating book. Post-Revolutionary Iran is a collection of short studies by a dozen younger scholars, giving much useful information but no full or integrated picture. For one thing, much source material remains unavailable; for another, each author has his own special interests and ideological concerns.