Who today comes close to Bernard Lewis? It’s 30 years since his essay on “Islamic Revolution” landed in the mailboxes of subscribers to the NY Review of Books. (No internet in 1988.) Lewis had already been writing on this subject for years, but he now had the Iranian revolution as a hook. The essay dazzles with insights. Is what happened in Iran a true “revolution”? What makes a revolution “Islamic”? Is Islam theocratic? As you read this essay, still fresh in so many ways, ask yourself: who could write so broad and deep a treatment today?
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