The Army and the Creation of the Pahlavi State in Iran, 1910-1926, by Stephanie Cronin, Choice, Vo. 35, No. 3, November 1997.


The army was the most important basis of power for the Pahlavi state.   It was a privileged institution upon which rested the whole machinery of the state.  Without it, the Pahlavis could not have survived for so long. Yet, this is the least investigated subject in Iranian studies.  As the first comprehensive account of how the modern Iranian army was created, Cronin=s book fills this void.  In six dense chapters, Cronin examines how a colonel in the Iranian Cossack Brigade, Reza Khan, rose to power and established a modern centralized state with a strong European-style army.  Cronin sheds light on some yet unknown military and political developments in the decade prior to the establishment of the Pahlavi state.  She discusses the emergence of both the Government Gendarmerie and the Russian-officered Cossack Brigade, their foreign patronages, the challenges of creating a new army out of these two older institutions, the introduction of mandatory conscription, the role of ethnicity in military and political developments, the effects of various regional rebellions on national and military developments, and personal ambitions and intrigues in Iranian politics. Appendix A provides rare and useful biographical sketches of the major ex-Cossacks and ex-Gendarmes. An excellent source for Middle Eastern specialists and military historians.

-- A.A. Mahdi, Ohio Wesleyan University