The Ayatollahs' Democracy

The Ayatollahs' Democracy

An Iranian Challenge


"There are several peculiar features about writing any detailed account of the recent political events in Persia which make necessary some slight explanation. The first point is that Persian political affairs, fraught as they are with misfortune and misery for millions of innocent people, are conducted very much as a well-staged drama - I have heard some critics say, as an opéra bouffe." William Morgan Shuster, "The Strangling of Persia" , 1912

So Hooman Majd introduces his story of Iran, with its volatile politics, jostling leaders, global ambitions, and enormous implications for world peace. What does it mean for the world if "Green" represents not a revolution but a civil rights movement, pushing the country toward a particular brand of "Islamic democracy"? And how will Iran's diversity of political positions, so often sidelined in news reporting, ultimately resolve itself?

With witty, candid, and stylishly-intelligent reporting, Hooman Majd introduces top-level politicians and clerics alongside regular Iranians, including Jewish community leaders. A personal, candid tour of the political and social landscape in Iran, The Ayatollahs' Democracy is a powerful dispatch from a country at a historic turning point.


  • In vividly readable style ... Majd gives us what's been missing for so long: a nuanced, in-depth portrait of a country both far more sophisticated and far less rigid than western policymakers have yet appreciated
    Lesley Hazleton, author of After the Prophet: the epic story of the Shia-Sunni split

About the author

Hooman Majd

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