Friday, March 26, 2010


Guardians of the Revolution is a history of a country that has not been in the news much since Obama became President, thankfully--Iran. Ray Takeyh examines how the Islamic Republic was created, the events that have shaped it, and the direction that he thinks it is going to go in as time passes. More than most regimes that were born in the overthrow of despots, it has retained its radicalism and many of its ideals--and its central insight is the things emanating from Iran that have made most of the world blink over the years have been the radical element--Khomeni in the first decade, but also his successors--manufacturing crises that isolate the country internationally in order to consolidate and maintain power. The ramifications of this idea made me pause; the nuclear program in Iran perhaps does need to be monitored on this and other ends a bit more closely, because as things stand now, at some point, under this regime and if its history holds, it could well use a nuclear weapon.
Having said that, the book is a bit of a tough read; it is definitely a scholarly monograph, which those interested in the subject will find interesting and the casual reader not so much.

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