Taking Power analyzes the causes behind some three dozen revolutions in the Third World between 1910 and the present. It advances a theory that seeks to integrate the political, economic, and cultural factors that brought these revolutions about, and links structural theorizing with original ideas on culture and agency. It attempts to explain why so few revolutions have succeeded, while so many have failed. The book is divided into chapters that treat particular sets of revolutions including the great social revolutions of Mexico 1910, China 1949, Cuba 1959, Iran 1979, and Nicaragua 1979, the anticolonial revolutions in Algeria, Vietnam, Angola, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe from the 1940s to the 1970s, and the failed revolutionary attempts in El Salvador, Peru, and elsewhere. It closes with speculation about the future of revolutions in an age of globalization, with special attention to Chiapas, the post-September 11 world, and the global justice movement.
John Foran is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is also involved with the programs on Islamic and Near Eastern Studies, Latin American and Iberian Studies, and Women, Culture, and Development. His books include Fragile Resistance: Social Transformation in Iran from 1500 to the Revolution (1993), A Century of Revolution: Social Movements in Iran (1994), and Theorizing Revolutions (1997).
Introduction; Part I. Perspectives: 1. Theorizing revolutions; Part II. Revolutionary Success: 2. The great social revolutions; 3. The closest cousins: the great anti-colonial revolutions; Part III. Revolutionary Failure: 4. The greatest tragedies: reversed revolutions; 5. The great contrasts: attempts, political revolutions, and non-attempts; Part IV. Conclusions: 6. The past and future of revolutions.