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The philosopher and the ayatollah

In 1978, Michel Foucault went to Iran as a novice journalist to report on the unfolding revolution. His dispatches — now fully available in translation — shed some light on the illusions of intellectuals in our own time.

Philosopher Michel Foucault (left), in reports from Tehran in 1978, praised the Ayatollah Khomeini as reflecting ''the perfectly unified collective will'' of the Iranian people.
Philosopher Michel Foucault (left), in reports from Tehran in 1978, praised the Ayatollah Khomeini as reflecting ''the perfectly unified collective will'' of the Iranian people. (Camera Press Photo; AP Photo) Camera Press Photo; AP Photo
By Wesley Yang
June 12, 2005

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"IT IS PERHAPS the first great insurrection against global systems, the form of revolt that is the most modern and most insane." With these words, the French philosopher Michel Foucault hailed the rising tide that would sweep Iran's modernizing despot, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi Shah, out of power in January 1979 and install in his place one of the world's most ... (Full article: 1816 words)

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