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Book Review

Landlord and Peasant in Persia

A Study of Land Tenure and Land Revenue Administration

Saturday 25 November 2006, by Babak KHANDANI

This is a study of land tenure and rural organization in Persia before the land reforms of 1962-66.

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Iranian Peasant
Peasant using traditional plow before the land reform of 1960’s.

The work provides an outline of the history of land tenure and land revenue administration from Islamic times down to the Iranian Constitutional Revolution in 1906. Contrary to what is supported by the author, the Constitutional Revolution of 1906 didn’t put an end to the medieval system of land tenure. In fact, the members of the parliament were mainly landlords, elected thank to the forced vote of their peasants. The most famous of this kind of politicians is Mohammad Mossadegh, a Qajar aristocrat and a chief landlord of his era.

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Mohammad Mossadegh
Qajar aristocrat and a chief landlord of his era. He practised serfdom and speculated in cereals during the famines of 1910’s.

The book also examines the Pahlavi periods, and covers topics such as legal codes, irrigation, large landlords, peasant proprietors, share-cropping arrangements, agricultural methods and standards of living.


Ann S. K. LAMBTON
Landlord and Peasant in Persia: A Study of Land Tenure and Land Revenue Administration
I. B. Tauris, August 15, 1991
ISBN: 1850432937.

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