Qajar Iran and the Rise of Reza Khan, 1796-1925
by Nikki Keddie, Professor Emerita of History at UCLA
Published: Tuesday, September 14, 2004
The history of Iran is attracting increasing interest, and the Qajar period, here dated 1796-1925, represents a pivotal transition in that history. The Qajar rulers reunited Iran after a century of weakness and division, and helped create modern Iran and its response to Western power. Although the Qajars were not great reformers, their regime saw the development of many new trends, from new religious ideas and groups to the conscious adaptation of modern ideas to Iranian conditions.
This book covers intellectual trends along with the political and socio-economic history of Iran. It describes the increasing Western incursions and control which led to social, economic and political disruptions which in turn led to the early twentieth-century revolution that gave Iran a modern constitution. Later developments culminated in a modernizing central government under the Pahlavi shahs.
The Qajar period saw a flowering of Iran's visual arts, politically-oriented literature, popular culture, crafts and carpets, and the beginnings of photography and film. The book interprets all of these developments as part of a readable and comprehensible history of a period that helped Iran to emerge in the modern world while maintaining its cultural greatness.
About the author: Nikki R. Keddie, Professor Emerita of History at UCLA and fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, has written or edited sixteen books, most of them dealing with Iranian history.
Mazda Publishers, 1999