Eminent Persians: The Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979

Abbas Milani, Syracuse University Press (November 2008)

Abbas  Milani is the author of Eminent Persians: Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941-1979, (Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, NY, 2 volumes, November, 2008). This book focuses on the life and works of Iranian who played crucial role in making modern Iran during Mohammad Reza Pahlavi regime.

We should mention this book as the most documentary book which is about 150 figures who have had significant role in Mohammad Reza Pahlavi era in various fields such as journalism, religion, art, literature and politics.

Abbas Milani is the director of the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University. He is also a research fellow and co-director of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution. In the book’s introduction he writes: “Most of biographies about Iran after WWII have covered only the lives of Shah, royal family and a few prominent politicians. Among the books written about the Islamic Revolution events and their analysis from different aspects, there are few books about the lives of men and women whose feats and failures, hopes and aspirations shaped Iran after WWII. This gap makes the cultural memory of recent Iranian past irrecoverable. Eminent Persians is a step for filling this gap”.

The first volume which is the main part of the book includes the politicians and governmental officials and the second volume is about the prominent figures in economics and culture.
The first three articles of the book which are about politics, economics and culture help history interested readers for better understanding of the reasons behind the Iranian revolution, permanent challenges of Iran with modernity and the west.
Here are the contents of two volumes based on the figures’ professions:

Politicians and Public Administration
Hoseyn Ala,  Assadollah Alam, Alinaghi Alikhani,  Ali Amini,  Jamshid Amuzegar,  Hushang Ansary- Hassan Arsanjani, Safi Asfia, Hamid Ashraf, Shapur Bakhtiyar, Mozaffar Baqa'i Kermani, Mehrangiz Dowlatshahi , Dr. Manuchehre Egbal , The Entezam Brothers, Akbar Etemad,  Reza Fallah ; Aziz, Khodadad, Maryam, and Sattareh Farmanfarma'ian ; Mohammad-Ali Forughi , Ahmad Ghavam-ol Saltaneh, Reza Ghotbi , Abbasqoli Golshai'yan,  Ebrahim Hakimi (Hakim-al Molk), Aliasgar Hekmat, Sardar Fakher Hekmat,  Amir-Abbas Hoveyda, Fereydun Mahdavi , Abdol-Majid and Monir Vakili Majidi,  Khalil Maleki, The Mansur Family, Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq, Hushang Nahavandi,  Parviz Nikkhah,  Nasser and Khosrow Qhashghai,  Shapur and Mehri Rasekh, Fuad Ruhani,  Khosrow Ruzbeh,  Parviz Sabeti, Gholamhoseyn Sadiqi, Seyyed Fakhroddin Shadman,  Ja'far Sharif-Emami, Seyyed Zia Tabataba'i, Seyyed Hassan Taqizadeh, Aredeshir Zahedi

Seyyed Abolqasem Kashani, Ruhollah Khomeini,Ali Shari'ati, Seyyed Kazem Shari'atmadari

Aliasqar Amirani, Darius Homayun, Abbas Masudi, Dr. Mostafa Mesbahzadeh, The Towfiq Brothers

Shahin Agayan, Mohammad Baheri

Abolfath Ardalan,Teymur Bakhtiyar, Hoseyn Fardust,Valiollah Gharani,Alimohammad Khademi, Mohammad Khatam, Ahmad Moggarrebi, Ne'matollah Nasiri, Hassan Pakravan, Hadji Ali Razmara, Hassan Toufanian, Fazlollah Zahedi

Contents to Volume Two
Industry and Commerce
The Amid-Hozour Family, The Arjomand Brothers, Morad Aryeh, The Barkhordar Brothers, Hadj Habib Elghanian, Rahim Irvani, Abdurrahim J'afari, The Khayami Brothers, The Khosrowshahi Brothers, The Lajevardi Family, Bager Mostofi, Abdul-Hussein Nikpour, The Rastegar Brothers, The Rezai Brothers, Habib Sabet, The Sadat-Tehrani Family, The Sudavar Brothers

Majid A'lam, Ali Ebrahimi, Hamid Ghadimi, Akbar Lari, Amir Malekyazdi, Fereydun Rabii

Banks and Finance
Abol-Hassan Ebtehaj, Abolqassem Kheradju, Mohammadali Moffarah,The Moghadam Brothers, Mehdi Samii

Architecture and Engineering
Hoseyn Amanat, Mohsen Forughi, M. Reza Moghtader, Hushang Seyhun,

Hashem Naraqi, Hojabr Yazdani

Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, Jalal Al-e Ahmad, Samad Behrangi, Forugh Farrokhzad, Ebrahim Golestan, Hushang Golshiri, Sadeq Hedayat, Zabihollah Mansuri, Gholamhoseyn Sa'edi, Sohrab Sepehri, Ja'far Shahri, Nima Yushij. 

Allame Dehkhoda, Badi'ozzaman Foruzanfar, Suleyman Haiim, Mohsen Hashtrudi, Allame Mohammad Qazvini, History
Zabih Behruz, Abbas Egbal-e Ashtiyani, Ahmad Kasravi

Mohammad Bahman Beyqi, Farhang Mehr, Dr. Mohammad Ali Mojtahedi,Parviz Natel-Khanlari,Dr. Farrokhru Parsa, Dr. Ali Sheikholislam

The Arts
Googoosh, Marcos Grigorian,Samuel Khachikian, Loreta and Nushin,,  Arby Ovanessian, Abolhassan Saba,  Parviz Sayyad, Alinaghi Vaziri, Gamarolmoluk Vaziri, Hoseyn Zenderudi,

Yahya Adl, Dr. Fereydun Ala, Dr. Abdolkarim Ayadi, Dr. Ebrahim Chehrazi,

Gholamreza Takhti

Hadj Hoseyn Malek, Hadj Mohammad Nemazee, Arbab Rostam Giv

We cannot see the names of some prominent figures such as Nosratollah Mo’iniyan, Abd-ul-hussein Hazhir, Mojtaba Minavi and Fereydoon Adamiyat and this is a fault for this book.
Abbas Milani has traveled for four years around the world for interviewing with these figures and their families which resulted to some five hundred interviews that more than half of them are recorded on tapes. Milani has also used declassified British and American documents. This book can be considered a treasure of information that is published for the first time.

Adeleh Hajimirzai

Number of Visits: 9788


Full Name:

Loss of Memory in Pahlavi Prisons

In total, [I was in prison] about 6 years in two arrests. For the first time after several years, a soldier arranged my escape. I do not know why! Maybe he was one of the influential elements of Islamic groups. They took me to the hospital for the treatment of my hand, which was broken due to the callousness of an officer.

Hajj Pilgrimage

I went on a Hajj pilgrimage in the early 1340s (1960s). At that time, few people from the army, gendarmerie and police went on a pilgrimage to the holy Mashhad and holy shrines in Iraq. It happened very rarely. After all, there were faithful people in the Iranian army who were committed to obeying the Islamic halal and haram rules in any situation, and they used to pray.

A section of the memories of a freed Iranian prisoner; Mohsen Bakhshi

Programs of New Year Holidays
Without blooming, without flowers, without greenery and without a table for Haft-sin , another spring has been arrived. Spring came to the camp without bringing freshness and the first days of New Year began in this camp. We were unaware of the plans that old friends had in this camp when Eid (New Year) came.

Attack on Halabcheh narrated

With wet saliva, we are having the lunch which that loving Isfahani man gave us from the back of his van when he said goodbye in the city entrance. Adaspolo [lentils with rice] with yoghurt! We were just started having it when the plane dives, we go down and shelter behind the runnel, and a few moments later, when the plane raises up, we also raise our heads, and while eating, we see the high sides ...