Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards

ISBN : 9780190882891

Afshon Ostovar
322 Pages
152 x 235 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
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Iran's Revolutionary Guards are one of the most important forces in the Middle East today, but remain poorly understood to outside observers. In Vanguard of the Imam, Afshon Ostovar has written the first comprehensive history of the organization. Situating the rise of the Guards in the contexts of Shiite Islam, Iranian history, and international affairs, Ostovar takes a multifaceted approach in demystifying the organization and detailing its evolution since 1979. The book documents the Guards transformation into a power-player and explores why the group matters now more than ever to regional and global affairs. It is simultaneously a history of modern Iran, and an engrossing entryway into the complex world of war, politics, and identity in the Middle East.


1. Introduction
2. From Ali to Khomeini
3. Vanguard of the Imam
4. The Imposed War
5. The Long War
6. Exporting the Revolution and the Khomeinist Divide
7. Culture and Identity
8. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
9. The War on Terror
10. Big Bang, Big Crunch
11. In Defense of the Family of the Prophet
12. Conclusion

About the author: 

Afshon Ostovar is an Assistant Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School. He lives on the California Central Coast.

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