Revolutionary Aspirations in a Post-Democratic World

Hamid Dabishi

Haymarket Books (22 December, 2024)

Trade paper • ISBN-13:  9798888902660 • US $19.95 • 5 in x 8 in • 256 pgs.


In his retelling of the boldness and tragedy of the Zhina uprising in Iran, Hamid Dabashi asks: What constitutes the success of revolutions and how do we measure their failures?

In September 2022, a young Kurdish woman, Zhina Mahsa Amini, was killed in police custody for failing to observe the strict dress code imposed on Iranian women. Her death sparked a massive social uprising within and outside of Iran. The slogan, “Woman, Life, Freedom,” spread like wildfire from Amini’s hometown to solidarity protests held in London, New York, Melbourne, Paris, Seoul and beyond. The pain felt by millions of Iranians, caused by the Islamic Republic, was on the global stage again.

Yet, misreadings of the Zhina uprising—both accidental and insidious—began to proliferate, with different parties vying for power. Iran in Revoltby author and scholar Hamid Dabashi cuts through the white noise of imperialist war mongers and social media bots to provide a careful and principled account of the revolution, and how it has forever altered the nature of politics in Iran and the wider region.

Iran in Revolt
 argues that “democracy” and the “nation-state” are tired concepts, exploring what it means to fight for a just society instead. Through detailed political, philosophical, and historical analysis, Dabashi shows that the vulnerable lives and fragile liberties of nations have never been so intimately connected, just as the pernicious cruelties of ruling regimes have never been so identical as they are today.


“Reading Dabashi is like going for an extended coffee with a very smart friend.”
Vijay Prashad, author of The Poorer Nations

“The grand clash of civilizations and ideologies will increasingly take place in the West, with such writers and intellectuals as Dabashi.”

The Guardian

“A leading light in Iranian studies.”

Chronicle of Higher Education


Hamid Dabashi is Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University in New York City. He is the author of over twenty books.


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