How we saw it: Iran's Islamic revolution

We examine our coverage of Iran’s Islamic revolution in the light of US attempts to end decades of enmity. There is still a chasm to cross

The World Today
3 minute READ

Professor Ali Ansari

Professor of Iranian History and Founding Director, Institute for Iranian Studies at the University of St Andrews

In reflecting on the reaction to the ‘Great Revolution’ that shook France from 1789, Alexis de Tocqueville remarked: ‘What had, in the first instance, seemed to the rulers of Europe and the politicians an event not out of the ordinary in the life of nations, now appeared to be such a new event, in such opposition to all that happened before in the world, yet so widespread, so grotesque, so undecipherable, that the human mind looked upon it with open disbelief.’

The shock and awe of this Great Revolution would soon be absorbed into the intellectual debates of subsequent years such that it became ‘French’: limited, finite and above all contained.

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