A History of Modern Iran by Ervand Abrahamian

By Ervand Abrahamian

In a reappraisal of Iran's sleek background, Ervand Abrahamian lines its stressful trip around the 20th century, during the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the guideline of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the delivery of the Islamic Republic. within the intervening years, the rustic has skilled a sour conflict with Iraq, the transformation of society less than the clergy and, extra lately, the growth of the nation and the fight for strength among the previous elites, the intelligentsia and the industrial center type. the writer is a compassionate expositor. whereas he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's nearby and overseas politics, on the center of his ebook are the folks of Iran. it really is to them and their resilience that this publication is devoted, as Iran emerges in the beginning of the twenty-first century as some of the most robust states within the heart East.

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Many were migratory, living in camps and moving each year from winter to summer grazing lands. A few lived in permanent settlements – mostly within the Bakhtiyari territories. After a period of internal strife, the Haft Lang and the Chahar Lang had agreed to share top positions. The title of ilkhani went to the Haft Lang; and that of ilbegi, his deputy, to the Chahar Lang. The wealthier khans owned villages outside Bakhtiyari territories – especially in neighboring Fars, Lurestan, and Arabestan.

These tuyul-holding governors had to work closely both with mostowfis, who had to verify the receipts and who possessed tax assessments from previous generations, and with local notables who could hinder the actual collection of taxes. The mostowfis also continued to administer the ever-diminishing state and crown lands. ”5 Morgan Shuster, an American brought in to reorganize the finance ministry in 1910, tried in somewhat condescending but useful terms to make sense of the complex mostowfi system:6 There has never been in Persia a tax-register or “Domesday Book” which would give a complete, even if somewhat inaccurate, survey of the sources of internal revenue upon which the Government could count for its support.

It also had representatives in the provincial capitals within Iran – mainly to keep an eye on local governors. The war ministry claimed a mighty force of more than 200,000. In reality, the regular army, the only force with any semblance of discipline and full-time pay, numbered fewer than 8,000. It consisted of a 5,000man artillery contingent with four outdated guns on display in Cannon Square, Tehran’s main parade ground; and a 2,000-man Cossack Brigade created in 1879 to replace the traditional palace guard of some 4,000 12 A History of Modern Iran Georgian slaves.

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