JANET AFARY and KEVIN B. ANDERSON are the co-authors of Foucault, Gender, and the Iranian Revolution: The Seductions of Islamism (forthcoming). Janet Afary teaches history and women's studies at Purdue University and is the author of The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-11: Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy and the Origins of Feminism (1996). Kevin Anderson teaches political science and sociology at Purdue and is the author of Lenin, Hegel, and Western Marxism: A Critical Study (1995) and the co-editor of the Rosa Luxemburg Reader (2004).
February 2004 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Iranian Revolution. From September 1978 to February 1979, in the course of a massive urban revolution with millions of participants, the Iranian people toppled the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1941-1979), which had pursued a highly authoritarian program of economic and cultural modernization. By late 1978, the Islamist faction led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini had come to dominate the antiregime uprising, in which secular nationalists, democrats, and leftists also participated.