Pouya AlimaghamDec 9, 2021
Contesting the Iranian Revolution
The Green Uprisings
Cambridge University Press 2020
Most observers of Iran viewed the Green Uprisings of 2009 as a 'failed revolution', with many Iranians and those in neighboring Arab countries agreeing. In Contesting the Iranian Revolution: The Green Uprisings (Cambridge UP, 2020), 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.
Reuben Silverman is a PhD candidate at University of California, San Diego.