Death to the Dictator! Witnessing Iran’s Election and the Crippling of the Islamic Republic

James Harkin writes:

Some evidence from the contested Iranian election is presented in Death to the Dictator!, the first book-length account of the activist movement’s rise and fall. The book claims to be the work of an Iranian journalist writing under a pseudonym, and it mostly describes the experience of an (also pseudonymous) young man from Tehran who is swept up in the excitement and then arrested and tortured by the Basij militia. What starts out as a campaign alleging electoral fraud in support of a defeated politician quickly spirals into something more interesting: a chaotic uprising against the clerics and the Revolutionary Guards which, had it continued to spread and gather momentum, might have threatened the foundations of the Islamic Republic.

(LRB 2 December 2010)