The Age of Aryamehr

The Age of Aryamehr


Late Pahlavi Iran and its Global Entanglements

edited by Roham Alvandi

Format: Royal Hardback
Published: November 2018
Pages: 291

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‘Roham Alvandi’s edited volume brings together valuable studies on Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi’s reign in a transnational context. What makes this compendium of essays even more significant is [the fact that] the contributors to this volume re-examine the development of Iranian culture and politics without being swayed by the final episode, the revolution’
— Professor Touraj Atabaki, Senior Research Fellow at the International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam

‘This impressive collection of essays offers a detailed study of the last three decades of Mohammad Reza Shah’s rule in Iran, and it is as interesting as it is useful. It should be used in both undergraduate and graduate courses on the history of twentieth-century Iran’
— Dr Homa Katouzian, Iran Heritage Foundation Research Fellow, St Antony’s College, and Member, Faculty of Oriental Studies, University of Oxford

‘This volume brings together a diverse range of innovative and insightful surveys of Iran’s developmental state together with its achievements and errors, and also its transnational connections, during the late Pahlavi period’
— Dr Ali Gheissari, Professor of History, University of San Diego, and Editor-in-Chief of Iranian Studies

‘This outstanding collection of articles brings together key aspects of the late shah’s rule, aptly and ironically titled The Age of Aryamehr. The articles offer fresh perspectives on Iranian history in an age of monarchic grandiosity and domestic turmoil, an era whose cultural and social significance has received less attention than its political dimensions. Written by some of the leading historians in the field, this compilation will be a very useful and welcome guide for scholars and students of Iranian society and culture’
— Professor Firoozeh KashaniSabet, Walter H. Annenberg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania

“Alvandi issues a call for scholars ‘to escape the boundaries of national history and examine the international and transnational threads that connected Iran to the world.’ The Age of Aryamehr succeeds in contributing to the ‘globalisation of the historiography of modern Iran’ and reveals the emerging interpretive schisms in that historiography.”
— Matthew Shannon, Journal of Iranian Studies

The history of Pahlavi Iran has traditionally been written as prologue to the 1979 Iranian Revolution and firmly located within a national historical context. However, the reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979), in fact marked the high-point of Iran’s global interconnectedness. Never before had Iranians felt the impact of global political, social, economic, and cultural forces so intimately in their national and daily lives, nor had Iranian actors played such an important global role, on battlefields, barricades, and in board rooms far beyond Iran’s borders.

Engaging with a national historical narrative, The Age of Aryamehr writes Iran into the global history of the 1960s and 1970s, so as to understand the transnational connections that in many ways formed modern Iran.

Roham Alvandi is Associate Professor of International History and Director of the IDEAS Cold War Studies Project at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). He is the author of Nixon, Kissinger, and the Shah: The United States and Iran in the Cold War (2014).


Table of Contents:

Roham Alvandi – Introduction: Iran in the Age of Aryamehr

Ramin Nassehi – Domesticating Cold War Economic Ideas: The Rise of Iranian Developmentalism in the 1950s and 1960s

Maziyar Ghiabi – The Opium of the State: Local and Global Drug Prohibition in Iran, 1941–1979

Robert Steele – Pahlavi Iran on the Global Stage: The Shah’s 1971 Persepolis Celebrations

H. E. Chehabi – A Cosmopolitan Dandy: Amir Abbas Hoveyda

H. E. Chehabi – The Shiraz Festival and its Place in Iran’s Revolutionary Mythology

Samine Tabatabaei – Nation Branding: The Prospect of Collecting Modern and Contemporary Art in Pahlavi Iran

Claudia Castiglioni – ‘Anti-Imperialism of Fools’? The European Intellectual Left and The Iranian Revolution

Cyrus Schayegh – Iran’s Global Long 1970s: An Empire Project, Civilisational Developmentalism, and the Crisis of the Global North


Click here to read Gareth Smyth’s review of The Age of Aryamehr for LobeLog.

Review of the book in English Historical Review


Additional information


History, Politics


Edited by Roham Alvandi