By Ervand Abrahamian

In a reappraisal of Iran's glossy background, Ervand Abrahamian strains its hectic trip around the 20th century, in the course of the discovery of oil, imperial interventions, the rule of thumb of the Pahlavis and, in 1979, revolution and the start of the Islamic Republic. within the intervening years, the rustic has skilled a sour battle with Iraq, the transformation of society below the clergy and, extra lately, the growth of the country and the fight for energy among the previous elites, the intelligentsia and the economic heart type. the writer is a compassionate expositor. whereas he adroitly negotiates the twists and turns of the country's nearby and overseas politics, on the center of his booklet are the folks of Iran. it truly is to them and their resilience that this e-book is devoted, as Iran emerges at the start of the twenty-first century as some of the most robust states within the heart East.

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The top-governors continued to fill masses of subordinate offices and to handle huge fiscal resources. All competitors for office thus focused their attention on these men from whom all power flowed, and these men in turn fixed their attention on the caliph to whom they owed their appointment. Hence, it was also basic to the system that the struggle for power was centripetal. As long as both conditions held good, the unitary state would survive: the power structure invited provincial bids for the metropolis, not provincial bids for independence.

As long as both conditions held good, the unitary state would survive: the power structure invited provincial bids for the metropolis, not provincial bids for independence. Had the caliphs become military men, or conversely had the generals The Marwanid evolution 41 taken control of Syria at this point instead of in the third civil war, the metropolitan problem of keeping control of rebellious provinces would doubtless have resulted in both attempts at reorganization of the state and the danger of disintegration; in fact these were postponed until the advent of the 'Abbasids.

266 And in the course of the third civil war three new armies were raised: the thirty thousand volunteers recruited by Hafs b. 269 In the second place, the domain of recruitment now embraced both Arabs and non-Arabs. There had of course always been non-Arabs in the 37 38 Evolution of the conquest society Arab armies; but for one thing, the rarity of volunteers meant that in effect only prisoners-of-war were involved; and for another, the tribal organization of the early armies offered no facilities for the large-scale accommodation of non-tribal groups.

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