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When he was assassinated in 1896, Nasir al-Din Shah had sat on the Peacock throne for nearly half a century. A colourful, complex figure, he is frequently portrayed as indolent and self-indulgent. Yet, he was in many ways an effective ruler who displayed exceptional resilience in the face of dilemmas and vulnerabilities shared by most monarchs of the Islamic world in the nineteenth century.In this book - the first in English about Nasir al-Din Shah - Abbas Amanat gives us both a biography of the man and an analysis of the institution of monarchy in modern Iran. Nasir al-Din Shah developed from an insecure crown prince and later an erratic boy-king in the 1840s and 50s into a ruler with substantial control over his government and foreign policy in the 1860s and beyond. Amanat examines this transformation and explores how traditional monarchies drew strength as they accommodated themselves to the forces of modernity.Based on extensive archival research in both public and private collections and illustrated with drawings and photographs from the period, "Pivot of the Universe" offers a fresh interpretation of the evolution of monarchy in modern times as it interacted with the institutions of government, the society at large and Western powers.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781845118280
ISBN-10: 1845118286
Format: Paperback
(233mm x 159mm x 38mm)
Pages: 559
Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd
Publish Date: 30-Sep-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Abbas Amanat

Abbas Amanat is Professor of History at Yale University. His publications include Resurrection and Renewal: the Making of the Babi Movement in Iran, 1844-1850 and he is the co-editor of 'Imagining the End' (I.B.Tauris).

Books By Author Abbas Amanat

Iran Facing Others by Abbas Amanat

Iran Facing Others

Hardback, February 2012
Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi'ism by Abbas Amanat

Apocalyptic Islam and Iranian Shi'ism

Paperback, February 2009
Imagining the End by Abbas Amanat

Imagining the End

Hardback, November 2001
Pivot of the Universe by Abbas Amanat

The Pivot of the Universe

Hardback, March 1997