In This Review

Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution
Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution
By John Foran
Westview Press, 1993, 452 pp.

This ambitious study still has the feel of the doctoral dissertation that it was once. The author is eager to link developmental theory with the historical case of Iran, and to a large degree he succeeds. But the result will be heavy going for most readers. The value of this original work lies in its use of dependency theory and its conceptualization of the emergence of broad-based protest movements that can bring down governments but have difficulty replacing them. While the theoretical structure is overly weighty, it probably does illuminate more than it obscures. The discussion of the causes of the 1979 revolution is well done.