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  • Date :
  • 6/7/2005

Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah

by Baqer Moin

Khomein lies deep in the vast semi-arid areas of central Iran some 200 kilometres to the north-west of Isfahan, the magnificent capital of the Safavid...

The New York Times Book Review, Elaine Sciolino
Moin has produced the first serious and accessible examination of the ayatollah's life.

Book Description
The Ayatollah Khomeini was the most radical Muslim leader of this age. In transforming himself from a traditional Muslim theologian into the charismatic Iranian ruler who took on the world, Khomeini launched an Islamic revival movement that, with the collapse of communism, quickly evolved for some as the centre-piece in the pantheon of western demonology, and for others as the inspiration for spiritual and political rebirth. Whether viewed as a hero by his supporters or as a villain by his enemies, Khomeini was undoubtedly one of the seminal figures of the twentieth century, whose influence will extend some way into the new millennium.

Baqer Moin here explores how and why this frail octogenarian, dressed in the traditional robes of a Muslim cleric, overthrew the secular Shah of Iran and became the spiritual leader of a new and Islamic regime. Still an enigma in the West, Khomeini transformed theMiddle East and the world. But where did the man come from? What was his childhood and family background? What lay behind his implacable opposition to the Shah? What role did the turbulent events inIran during his youth play in shaping Khomeini's political perceptions? What changed him from an obscure traditional theologian with mystical and poetic inclinations into a combative? How will his vision of an international community of Muslims, a kind of Islamic International, affect theMiddle East?

Drawing on many exclusive personal interviews with Khomeini's associates, on unpublished new materials and on the author's firsthand experience in Islamic seminaries, this biography provides a fascinating, well-documented and highly accessible analysis of the life and thought of one of the most controversial leaders of the late twentieth century.

About the Author
Baqer Moin
is a specialist onIran and Islam and is Head of the BBC's Persian Service. He was born into a religious family and studied theology at traditional schools in Iran's most important shrine city,Mashhad. He has written extensively onIslam, Iran and Afghanistan.

Creating An Islamic State: Khomeini and the Making of a New Iran
by Vanessa Martin

"This book makes a valid contribution on the dynamics of the Iranian Revolution and the Islamic revival...."--Fred Rhodes, Middle East Magazine
"...Creating an Islamic State...should be read by all students of comparative and modern history in general." --Gene R. Garthwaite, Professor of History,Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

Book Description

In this volume, Vanessa Martin makes a groundbreaking contribution on the dynamics of the Iranian Revolution and the Islamist revival especially relevant in the context of the debate arising out of Iran's recent elections. Political Islam and its recent violent bi-products first became the focus of international attention following the success of the 1979 Iranian Revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. This extraordinary book is the first to analyze the ideological roots of an Islamic state as conceived by Khomeini. Martin finds much of the inspiration behind Khomeini’s political thinking being influenced by western sources.

About the Author

Vanessa Martin is lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History at Royal Holloway College, University of London.

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