Most observers of Iran viewed the Green Uprisings of 2009 as a 'failed revolution', with many Iranians and those in neighbouring Arab countries agreeing. In Contesting the Iranian Revolution, however, Pouya Alimagham re-examines this evaluation, deconstructing the conventional win-lose binary interpretations in a way which underscores the subtle but important victories on the ground, and reveals how Iran's modern history imbues those triumphs with consequential meaning. Focusing on the men and women who made this dynamic history, and who exist at the centre of these contentious politics, this 'history from below' brings to the fore the post-Islamist discursive assault on the government's symbols of legitimation. From powerful symbols rooted in Shiʿite Islam, Palestinian liberation, and the Iranian Revolution, Alimagham harnesses the wider history of Iran and the Middle East to highlight how activists contested the Islamic Republic's legitimacy to its very core.
From the prizewinning Jewish Lives series, a masterful new biography of Theodor Herzl by an eminent historian of Zionism.
The life of Theodor Herzl (1860–1904) was as puzzling as it was brief. How did this cosmopolitan and assimilated European Jew become the leader of the Zionist movement? How could he be both an artist and a statesman, a rationalist and an aesthete, a stern moralist yet possessed of deep, and at times dark, passions? And why did scores of thousands of Jews, many of them from traditional, observant backgrounds, embrace Herzl as their leader?
Drawing on a vast body of Herzl’s personal, literary, and political writings, historian Derek Penslar shows that Herzl’s path to Zionism had as much to do with personal crises as it did with antisemitism. Once Herzl devoted himself to Zionism, Penslar shows, he distinguished himself as a consummate leader—possessed of indefatigable energy, organizational ability, and electrifying charisma. Herzl became a screen onto which Jews of his era could project their deepest needs and longings.
Why has secularism faced such challenges in the Middle East and in Lebanon in particular? In light of dominating headlines about the spread of sectarianism and the so-called death of Arab secularism, Mark Farha addresses the need for a thorough examination of the history of secular thought and practice in the region. By offering a comprehensive, systematic account of the underlying ideological, socio-economic, and political factors involved, Farha provides a new understanding of the historical roots of secularism as well as the potential causes for the continued resistance a fully deconfessionalized state faces both in Lebanon and in the region at large. Drawing on a vast corpus of primary and secondary sources to examine the varying political parties and ideologies involved, this book provides a fresh approach to the study of religion and politics in the Arab world and beyond.
Traces the concise lineage of the term and concept of secularism in Arab political discourse from its origins to present-day usage
Introduces a new framework for understanding the success or failure of the secular state in Lebanon and the wider Middle East
Includes Arabic sources, providing insights from a host of Arab and Lebanese secular voices
Explores the transformation of the Kizilbash from a radical religio-political movement to a religious order of closed communities.
The first comprehensive social history of the Kizilbash/Alevi communities
Combines conventional sources with newly discovered ones generated within the Kizilbash-Alevi milieu
Argues for a readjustment in focus from pre-Islamic Central Asia to the cosmopolitan Sufi milieu of the Middle East when exploring genealogies of popular Islam in Anatolia
Offers a critical assessment of the long-standing Köprülü paradigm in the field of religious and cultural history of Anatolia
Provides a new perspective on the Ottoman-Safavid conflict, and on Sunni-Shiʿi confessionalisation in the early modern period
Opens new avenues of research in the study of other ‘heterodox’ communities in the Islamic world
The Kizilbash were at once key players in and the foremost victims of the Ottoman-Safavid conflict that defined the early modern Middle East. Today referred to as Alevis, they constitute the second largest faith community in modern Turkey, with smaller pockets of related groups in the Balkans. Yet several aspects of their history remain little understood or explored. This first comprehensive socio-political history of the Kizilbash/Alevi communities uses a recently surfaced corpus of sources generated within their milieu. It offers fresh answers to many questions concerning their origins and evolution from a revolutionary movement to an inward-looking religious order.