Cover image for The priest and the king : : an eyewitness account of the Iranian revolution
The priest and the king : : an eyewitness account of the Iranian revolution
Harney, Desmond.
Personal Author:
Paperback edition.
Publication Information:
London : I.B. Taurus Publishers, 1999.

Physical Description:
ix, 206 pages ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
DS318 .H375 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Desmond Harney, a former British diplomat charged with political reporting, was living in Tehran in 1979 at the time of the Revolution. He felt compelled to keep a day-to-day record of the events he was witnessing around him as the priest and the king--the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Shah of Iran--squared off against each other. The result is this stunning first-hand account of one of the 20th century's most momentous episodes.

Author Notes

Desmond Harney lived for more than a decade in Iran, both as a senior British diplomat and as a banker. He currently lives in London.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Harney, a British diplomat, first served in Tehran 1958-62 and was reassigned to that embassy in 1971. In 1974 he left the government service for private ventures as a banker. In 1977, when a joint Irano-British Chamber of Commerce was established, he became its first chairman. Drawn from Harney's diary, this book is a record of events in Iran that began in January of 1978 and ended a year later when a revolution overthrew the regime of Mohammed Reza Shah and installed the "priest" (Khomeini ) as the spiritual/political leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran. There is really no new information here, but because the author was an eyewitness to one of the most momentous episodes of the 20th century and was in touch with Iran's political and financial elite, he had insights matched by few foreign observers. The result is an exciting and readable account of those crucial days. Complements the account of Sir Anthony Parsons, recorded in The Pride and the Fall (CH, Jun'85). All levels. N. Rassekh Lewis and Clark College

Table of Contents

January-September 1978: The Gathering Revolutionary Storm
September 1978: The Great Marches and the Jaleh Square Massacre
October 1978: Khomeini Declaims in Paris; the Shah Dithers in Tehran
November 1978: Riots and Military Government
December 1978: Moharram Marches and the Foreigners' Exodus
January 1979: 'The Shah Has Gone'
Epilogue: An Islamic Revolution and Its Aftermath
Further Reading