Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards

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en Limba Engleză Carte Hardback – 14 Apr 2016
Iran's Revolutionary Guards are one of the most important forces in the Middle East today. As the appointed defender of Iran's revolution, the Guards have evolved into a pillar of the Islamic Republic and the spearhead of its influence. Their sway has spread across the Middle East, where the Guards have overseen loyalist support to Bashar al-Assad in Syria and been a staunch backer in Iraq's war against ISIS-bringing its own troops, Lebanon's Hezbollah, and Shiitemilitias to the fight. Links to terrorism, human rights abuses, and the suppression of popular democracy have shrouded the Revolutionary Guards in controversy. In spite of their prominence, the Guards remain poorly understood to outside observers. In Vanguard of the Imam, Afshon Ostovar has written the first comprehensive history of the organization. Situating the rise of the Guards in the larger contexts of Shiite Islam, modern Iranian history, and international affairs, Ostovar takes a multifaceted approach in demystifying the organization and detailing its evolution since 1979. Politics, power, and religion collide in this story, whereinthe Revolutionary Guards transform from a rag-tag militia established in the midst of revolutionary upheaval into a military and covert force with a global reach. The Guards have been fundamental to the success of the Islamic revolution. The symbiotic relationship between them and Iran's clerical rulers underpins the regime's nearly unshakeable system of power. The Guards have used their privileged position at home to export Iran's revolution beyond its borders, establishing client armies in their image and extending Iran's strategic footprint in the process. Ostovar tenaciously documents the Guards' transformation into a power-player and explores whythe group matters now more than ever to regional and global affairs. The book simultaneously serves as a history of modern Iran, and provides a crucial and engrossing entryway into the complex world of war, politics, and identity in the Middle East.
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ISBN-13: 9780199387892
ISBN-10: 0199387893
Pagini: 320
Dimensiuni: 163 x 238 x 28 mm
Greutate: 0.56 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Locul publicării: New York, United States


Vanguard of the Imam offers seasoned students of Iran a more granular view of the early years of the revolution and the post-war period, as seen through the lens of the IRGC's rise. Readers who are new to the subject of Iran will benefit from a thorough introduction into the politics of the Islamic Republic, and they may also find useful the final chapters, which neatly synthesize many of the current events unfolding in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon...Vanguard of the Imam is a useful addition to the literature, and one that both graduate and undergraduate instructors of courses on Middle Eastern politics would benefit from adopting.
Vanguard of the Imam, shows how important leftist opposition elements were in the creation of the insurrectionary ideology that informs the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (the IRGC) to this day.
Afshon Ostovar with his Vanguard of the Imam, a readable and reliable account that is sure to prove an indispensable resource for anyone wishing to understand the IRGCs evolution and functioning.
Vanguard of the Imam provides a worthy account of the IRGC from its inception to today. It is not only an institutional analysis of the IRGC but a historical and cultural assessment of post-revolutionary Iran that both provides insights on IRGC activities abroad and reviews Iranian policies toward the Middle East.

Notă biografică

Adjunct Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies; Senior Analyst at Center for Strategic Studies at CNA; PhD in History from the University of Michigan