£16.99 | $31.95

14 October 2010
ISBN: 9781848138162
248 pages
198mm x 129mm
Middle East

Cultural Studies, Development, Geography, History, Human Rights, International Relations, Middle East, Politics

Also available as Hardback, Ebook

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Iran, The Green Movement and the USA

The Fox and the Paradox

Hamid Dabashi

Iran, the Green Movement and the USA presents the paradox that the USA faces in dealing with Iran over its nuclear armament: negotiate, and legitimize Ahmadinejad’s otherwise troubled presidency; resort to sanctions or military strikes, and altogether destroy the budding civil rights campaign of the Green Movement. Either way, as leading Iranian scholar Hamid Dabashi argues, the Islamic Republic will become even stronger.

Featuring a short history of how the USA and Iran came to be in this confrontation, this elegantly written book provides the reader with a dynamic picture of the regional geopolitics and a purposeful guide to how to understand and deal with it.


'Hamid Dabashi, once again, offers his readers a rare gift of passionate intellect into the meaning of the 2009 presidential protest movement in Iran. He traces the deeply committed democratic roots of Islam in this Green Movement for Civil Rights. He offers us a richly nuanced, complex understanding of the resilient, defiant, brave men and women in the streets and in the prisons. Dabashi shares his treasure chest with us. He dismantles the binary and oppositional divides like secular/religious; West/Muslim; men/women that do not let us understand others not like ourselves. He gives voice to this revolutionary moment of cyber culture found with You Tube, cell phones, digital cameras, web-blogs, Facebook, etc. and connects the Iranian Green Movement to the U.S. Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's-'70's. Dabashi shares Iran and with it Islam's ancient democratic wisdom in a 'heart-writing' that gives us hope, against all odds. I thank him for this amazing gift.' - Zillah Eisenstein

'Steeped in Iran's history and culture, Hamid Dabashi offers an insider's view of a rapidly changing country. His insight into Iran's culture and national psyche allows him to see the vibrant democratic society that is emerging there, beneath the veneer of religious rule. This book combines passion with academic rigor to show an Iran that is not fated to America's enemy forever, and that could in fact become its partner. Americans need to hear this message.' - Stephen Kinzer, author of 'All the Shah's Men' and 'Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future'

'This remarkable book masterfully weaves together a tapestry of old Persian animal fables, contemporary music of dissidence, with an extraordinary new genre of ''public'' love letters in the feminine voice, published in web blogs by the wives of political prisoners, to offer a deeply informed and passionate analysis of the recent opposition movement and its potentials to transcend the poetics and politics of power and resistance in Iran and beyond. Dabashi's timely work bestows the Humanities with a much-needed model of combining the depth and breath of scholarly knowledge with the punctual and fast pace spirit of journalism. One does not have to agree with every point in his analysis to recognize his invaluable contribution, not merely to academia, but to the spirit of resistance in the world. His approach and analysis challenge us all to rethink such reductive dichotomies as secularism, religion; tradition, modernity; West, East, and so on, in the name of a transformative cosmopolitanism. The scope and the erudition in this book are reminiscent of a time of old fables in which the ''traditionally'' cosmopolitan intellectuals, at once artists, historians, philosophers, and so on, created their masterpieces.' - Shahla Talebi, author of Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran.

'A profoundly thoughtful analysis of Iran's convulsive political identity from one of the world's most brilliant and informed cultural critics. Dabashi intersperses his elegant narrative with rich philosophical commentary.A literary treasure. '
Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet

Table of Contents

A Parable
1: The Paradox
2: Jammed in a Jungle and Nowhere to Go
3: The Fox in the Hen House
4: It's a Jungle out there
5: Outfoxing the Wily Fox
6: Paradox Redux
7: The Fox in the Box
8: The Retrieval of a Cosmopolitan Culture
Conclusion: People and their Parables

About the Author:

Born in 1951 in Ahvaz, Iran, Hamid Dabashi was educated in his hometown and Tehran before moving to the United States, where he received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He is currently the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

Dabashi has written 20 books, edited four, and contributed chapters to various others, in addition to authoring over 100 essays, articles and book reviews. An internationally renowned cultural critic and award-winning author, his writings have been translated into numerous languages, including French, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese.

A committed teacher for nearly three decades, Dabashi is also a public speaker, a current affairs essayist, a staunch anti-war activist, and the founder of Dreams of a Nation, a Palestinian film project dedicated to preserving Palestinian cinema. He has four children - Kaveh, Pardis, Chelgis and Golchin - and lives in New York with his wife and colleague, the Iranian-Swedish feminist Golbarg Bashi.