The reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979), marked the high-point of Iran's global interconnectedness. Never before, nor ever since, have Iranians felt the impact of global political, social, economic, and cultural forces so intimately in their national and daily lives, nor have Iranian actors played such an important global role, on battlefields, barricades, and in board rooms far beyond Iran's borders. Modern Iran is in many ways the product of the global interconnectedness that dramatically accelerated in the 1960s and 1970s. From the launch of the Shah's White Revolution in 1963 to his overthrow in the popular Revolution of 1978-79, Iran experienced the longest period of sustained economic growth that the country had ever experienced. The shift in power from oil consumer to oil producers fuelled the modernisation aspirations of a generation of Iranians, in the context of competing capitalist and Marxist models of development. The history of Pahlavi Iran has traditionally been written as prologue to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. These histories largely locate the political, social and cultural origins of the revolution firmly within a national context, into which global actors intruded and Iranian actors retreated. While engaging with this national narrative, this volume is concerned with Iran's place in the global history of the 1960s and 1970s. It examines and highlights the transnational threads that connected Pahlavi Iran to the world, from global traffic in modern art and narcotics, to the embrace of American social science by Iranian technocrats and the encounter of European intellectuals with the Iranian Revolution. In doing so, this volume seeks to write Pahlavi Iran into the global history of the 1960s and 1970s, when Iran mattered far beyond its borders.
Gingko Library (30 Nov. 2018)