Arts & Entertainment

Revolt in Iran

New York Review of Books

Christopher de Bellaigue
Khamenei’s Dilemma

How far will Iran’s supreme leader go to suppress the protests that have rocked the Islamic Republic since mid-September?

Francine Prose
‘We Know What That’s Like’

The filmmaker Jafar Panahi’s recent arrest in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison marks the latest phase in a campaign that the Iranian judiciary has been waging against him for over a decade.

Jed S. Rakoff
A Prisoner of His Own Restraint

Felix Frankfurter was renowned as a liberal lawyer and advocate. Why did he turn out to be such a conservative Supreme Court justice?

Giles Harvey
The History Boy

Unlike other recent novels that reckon with the latest news, Ian McEwan’s Lessons is built to withstand the constant onslaught of information.

The Bridegrooms

a poem by Daria Serenko,
translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky

When dead blue bridegrooms from Russia
come back from the war
they lie down forever in bed with their
brides. They are lying
between clean sheets as if they were lying
in coffins and the still
living women are lying next to them as if
they were lying in coffins…

A little more than a year after the Iranian Revolution, the historian Shaul Bakhash wrote for the Review an account of the movement that deposed the Shah and swept Ayatollah Khomeini into power. By June 1980 a number of political parties had been banned, universities were being purged of leftists, and dozens of secular newspapers were shuttered. Within a year the first president of Iran would be impeached and the second assassinated, clearing the office for Ali Khamenei, who would serve as president until 1989, when he became the supreme leader after Khomeini’s death.

“Liberal and left-wing groups who joined with Ayatollah Khomeini,” wrote Bakhash, “believed, as did much of the European press, that the revolution would give birth to a liberal democracy. Instead, they have watched Khomeini’s followers create an Islamic theocracy. The most glaring misperception of all has been the failure to grasp the part that Islam would play in mobilizing the revolutionary opposition to the Shah and in shaping post-revolution Iranian society.”

Shaul Bakhash
The Iranian Revolution

“The perception of Islam among different classes of Iranians varies considerably, that whether we speak of poor workers or middle-class professionals or bazaar people, we will find that striking reformulations of Islamic concepts have taken place within each class, each with political implications for understanding the revolution.”



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