BOOK REVIEWS Tim McDaniel. Autocracy, Modernization, and Revolution in Russia and Iran. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1991. 239 pp. $49.50 cloth; $14.95 paper. Professor McDaniel uses accounts of modernization and revolution in Ro- manov Russia and Pahlavi Iran to reflect on social science theories about the na- ture of revolution in the twentieth century. In contrast to influential theories which emphasize the peasant origins of modern revolutions, the author cites the urban origins of the revolutions he discusses (without dismissing the role of the peasantry). He disagrees with his fellow social scientists dwelling on the general phenomenon of revolution and its short-term causes. It is essential, he argues, to study a revolution in its particular historical and cultural context. Thus, the case studies he offers examine processes at work over the duration of the reigns of Nicholas II and Mohammad Reza Shah and in preceding generations. The theoretical issue which this book stresses is that prevailing concepts of modernizing societies have not recognized one type that is particularly vulnerable to revolution: the modernizing autocracy, of which Russia and Iran are the sole in- stances. Such societies differ from dictatorships because they employ a tradition- alist ideology to
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1995
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