The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge ~ Hooman Majd

A New York Times best-selling author offers a personal, candid tour of the political and social landscape in Iran.

Hooman Majd offers a dramatic perspective on a country with global ambitions, an elaborate political culture, and enormous implications for world peace. Drawing on privileged access to the Iranian power elite, Majd argues that despite the violence of the disputed 2009 elections, a group of influential ayatollahs—including a liberal, almost-secular opposition—still believes in the Iranian republic; for them, “green” represents not a revolution but a civil rights movement, pushing the country inexorably toward democracy, albeit a particular brand of “Islamic democracy.” With witty, candid, and stylishly intelligent reporting, Majd, himself the grandson of an esteemed ayatollah, introduces top-level politicians and clerics as well as ordinary people (even Jewish community leaders), all expressing pride for their ancient heritage and fierce independence from the West. In the tradition of Jon Lee Anderson’s The Fall of Baghdad, The Ayatollahs’ Democracy is a powerful dispatch from a country at a historic turning point.

Born in Tehran but educated in the West, Hooman Majd is the author of The Ayatollah Begs to Differ (an Economist and Los Angeles Times Best Book of 2008) and The Ayatollahs’ Democracy: An Iranian Challenge. He lives in New York City.

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Book TV: Hooman Majd, “The Ayatollah’s Democracy”


The author of “The Ayatollah Begs to Differ,” argues in his latest book that despite the popular uprising that followed the Iranian elections of 2009, there are many influential, liberal leaders who still believe in the Islamic Republic and a particular brand of Islamic democracy. He discusses this brand with Columbia University’s Iranian Studies Professor Hamid Dabashi.

The Ayatollahs’ Democracy


The Ayatollahs’ Democracy
An Iranian Challenge

Please join the New America Foundation for a conversation with Hooman Majd about his new book The Ayatollahs’ Democracy.

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