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The Iranian Mojahedin by Ervand Abrahamian

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The Mojahedin, a radical political group in Iran, were prominent in the movement against the Shah and played an important role in bringing the Ayatollah Khomeini to power. Yet they have borne the brunt of his reign of terror and now constitute the main opposition to his Islamic Republic. In this book a leading authority on Iranian political parties offers the first history of this little-known underground group.Drawing on all available sources including interviews with past and present members of the Mojahedin, Ervand Abrahamian traces their organization from the 1960s to today. He investigates the social backgrounds of their leaders, the main features of their ideology, and the Marxist influences on their interpretation of Islam. He is then able to explain why they failed to gain political power despite their mass following and the fact that they were the best armed, best disciplined, and one of the largest groups opposing the Shah.In an introductory section on contemporary Iran, Abrahamian analyzes the downfall of the Shah, discusses the resurgence of Islam in that country, contrasts the varieties of Islam on the present scene, and explains why the Islamic Republic, despite all expectations, has proved to be so durable. Clearly and concisely written, the book as a whole provides a wealth of information on contemporary Iran.“A very fine book that deals with an important subject in a very thorough and engrossing fashion.” –Nikki R. Keddie, U.C.L.A.

Reviews (7)
This book is about a subject sensitive to Iranian people. The People's Mojahedin of Iran is mirroring, in many ways, the human condition, its greatness and faults. It started out as an idealistic, revolutionary organization and ended up in treason and as a personality cult. In the meantime, thousands of its members sacrificed for the cause.
I believe that Abrahamian does justice to his subject and allows even me, who did not have a serious previous knowledge of the subject, to understand it. Abrahamian's look is sympathetic, as always regarding Iran, but impartial, I believe.
very informative ,well documented book.very informative ,well documented book.specially analysis and assessment of era of shah and revolution and rise of khomeini
A well documented account of the tragic story of People's Mojahedin Organization and its leadership.
Professor Abrahamian has through this excellent book given readers of all backgrounds an opportunity to read about the tragic history of the Mujahedin/National Council of Iranian Resistance without any biases. This comprehensive study on the most notorious Iraqi-backed terrorist organization will give the reader an understanding of why the organization was created, why it was popular before it allied itself with Saddam Hussein, why it is despised by Iranians in general today and why it is dying as an organization. The book also explains the Mujahedin's undertaking of terrorist attacks against Americans.
This book is an excellent review of the history of this group which, alas, started out as a legitimate political force in Iranian politics but ended up collaborating with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88, and has degraded into a terroristic cult of personality. The book is an eye-opener for anyone who is lacks familiarity with the aracana of Iranian exile group politics.
Funny duck
I want to point out on some examples of the lies, distortions and fabrications in Ervand Abrahamian's "The Iranian Mojahedin".
Iran's important geo-political status and the critical role of the National Council of Resistance(NCR) and the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran in shaping that country'd future have prompted many scholars and analysts to address these issues from varying angles. Ervand Abrahamian's The Iranian Mojahedin, is an attempt to this end. Regettably, the writer's usage of inaccurate expresions and information as well as his contradictory interpretations and judgements on the mojahedin and the National Council of Resistance confuse the reader.
Today , the National Council of Resistance is recognized as the sole democratic alternative to the Khomeini Regime. Without widespread support from the vast majority of the people in Iran , these achievements would have been impossible. Basiclly to say in short Abrahimian has unscrupulously compiled totally contradictory interpretations, unwarranted conclusions, and information which is simply untrue.I can say this because I have read it in detail and researched for myself.The facts have been altered in a deliberate attempt to misinform the reader and misrepresent the Mojahedin.
Abrahamian claims that his objective is neither to praise nor to condemn the Mojahedin. (The Mojahedin represent the most widely supported and deeply rooted political organization in Iran. They have also been supported by major political groups, human rights organizations, and parliaments, including the majority of the US Congress and major US senators.)
Abrahamian does both! He unnecessarily praises the Mojahedin for events that are irrelevant but he does so to suggest impartiality, and condemns the Mojahedin for things that are untrue.
Facts about the Mojahedin are quite distorted in the book. After some 10 years since the book's publication, none of the predications or suggestions or conclusions about the future of the Mohahedin have shown to be near the reality.
The Mojahedin remain Iran's largest and most popular political organization. Any impartial observer can attest to this. Tens of thousands participate in demonstrations held in support of the Mojahedin in western countries and the ranks of the military wing of the Mojahedin have doubled every year by the young new volunteers from Iran. If there were another Iranian organization that could have attracted 1/100 of the numbers that Mojahedin have attracted since 1989 (when Abrahamian's book was published), I would give some credit to the author. But unfortuantely none of Abrahamian's predications or conclusions have materialized. It shows that the author neither had the insight nor did he do his research right do produce a useful and academically valued book, mostly because he relied on unreliable sources.
Besides a very poorly written book that states absolute nonsense as fact, this book basically justifies a terrorist organization condemned by the U.S. State Department.

ISBN: 0300052677

Rating: 4.7/5

Votes: 316

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ISBN13: 978-0300052671

Publisher: Yale University Press (October 28, 1992)

Language: English

Subcategory: Humanities

Pages: 315

The Iranian Mojahedin
Author: Ervand Abrahamian
Title: The Iranian Mojahedin