Roqe Ep#247 - SPECIAL EDITION: The Power of Reza Shah
A Special Edition of Roqe coinciding with the anniversary of Reza Shah’s birthday this week. This two-hour special focused on the “father of modern Iran” - updated from our Contemporary History of Iran episodes last year - tells the story of a man who came from modest means to become Iran’s powerful ruler whilst establishing the Pahlavi Dynasty. Indeed, Reza Shah’s evolution from military leader, to prime minister, to king of Iran from 1925-1941, would see him presiding over a fundamental transformation of Iran and the centralization of the Iranian state. He can be credited with everything from unifying warring tribes, to a national railroad, the ‘Persianization' of Iran, and the suppression of the dominance of the clergy, as well as women’s rights, and educational and judicial reform. But Reza Shah was also widely seen as an autocrat who ruled with an iron will and, by many accounts, was deeply unpopular by the time he was effectively forced from the throne and into exile by the British in 1941. Jian is joined by acclaimed historian Dr. Shaul Bakhash, whose latest book is about Reza Shah, for a wide-ranging and riveting conversation that includes new revelations of how the British worked to oust Reza Shah by the early 1940s, and how the former king is experiencing a renaissance in recognition and popularity at present as a secular icon both inside and outside of Iran.
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