Ervand Abrahamian

Ervand Abrahamian (Persian: یرواند آبراهامیان‎; Armenian: Երուանդ Աբրահամեան; born 1940) is a historian of Middle Eastern and particularly Iranian history.

Ervand Abrahamian
Ervand Abrahamian.png
Abrahamian in 2008
Ervand Vahan Abrahamian[1]

1940 (age 79–80)
Other namesJed Abrahamian[3]
Home townPark Slope, Brooklyn, New York, United States[5]
  • Helen Harbison
    (m. 1967; died 1981)
  • Mary Nolan (m. 1986)
ChildrenEmma and Rafi
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisSocial Bases of Iranian Politics: The Tudeh Party, 1941–53 (1969)
Academic advisorsKeith Thomas[2]
Academic work
DisciplineHistory of Iran
School or traditionMarxist historiography[6][7]
Doctoral studentsTouraj Atabaki
Main interests


He teaches at the City University of New York (CUNY), where he is Distinguished Professor of History at Baruch College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He has taught at Princeton University, New York University, and Oxford University.

In 2010, Abrahamian was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[8]

He has appeared as a guest on such shows as Charlie Rose[9] and World Focus, speaking on contemporary Iranian politics.[10]

Political activitiesEdit

Abrahamian was an activist and a member of the Confederation of Iranian Students—National Union (CISNU).[6] He also served as the vice chairperson of the 'Committee to Defend Artistic and Intellectual Freedom in Iran' (CAIFI), whose chairperson was Reza Baraheni as of March 1976. The organization was "a minor SWP front" according to a report by Larry McDonald.[11]


  • Iran Between Two Revolutions (Princeton University Press,1982) (also published in Persian)
  • The Iranian Mojahedin (Yale University Press, 1989)
  • Khomeinism (University of California Press, 1993)
  • Tortured Confessions (University of California Press, 1999)
  • Inventing the Axis of Evil (coauthored) (New Press, 2004)
  • A History of Modern Iran (Cambridge University Press, 2008) (Published also in Italian, Polish, Turkish, Arabic, and Persian)
  • The Coup: 1953, The CIA and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations (New Press, 2013) (Published also in Persian)
  • The Crowd in Iranian Politics (In Persian) (Cheshmeh Press, 2016)
  • ReTargeting Iran (City Lights Publishers, 2020) (Written by David Barsamian, includes an interview with Ervand Abrahamian)

Personal lifeEdit

Abrahamian and Helen Mary Harbison, daughter of E. Harris Harbison, became engaged in January 1967.[12] She died of cancer in a young age.[3]


  1. ^ Beach, Walter E. (Summer 1970), "Doctoral Dissertations in Political Science in Universities of the United States", PS, 3 (3): 509, JSTOR 418049
  2. ^ a b c d e f Eskandar Sadeghi-Boroujerdi (20 April 2017), "Iran's Past and Present: Why has the History of Iran's Left been Erased?", Jacobin, retrieved 9 December 2017
  3. ^ a b Gleason, Abbott (2010), A Liberal Education, TidePool Press, p. 218, ISBN 9780975555743
  4. ^ Krastev, Nikola (18 November 2003), "Iran: U.S. Experts See Promise Amid Troubling Trends In Relations", RFE/RL, retrieved 29 January 2020
  5. ^ "Slope Survey: Ervand Abrahamian", Park Slope Reader, 20 November 2019, retrieved 29 January 2020
  6. ^ a b Schayegh, Cyrus (February 2010), ""Seeing Like a State": An Essay on the Historiography of Modern Iran", International Journal of Middle East Studies, 42 (1): 37–61, doi:10.1017/S0020743809990523, JSTOR 40389584, Abrahamian’s [works]... were inspired by British Marxist social historians. Like them, Abrahamian’s academic interests fed off his politics: he was a CISNU activist and his “understanding of Iran [was]...most shaped [by] the oil crisis of 1951–53 culminating in the coup".
  7. ^ Zabih, Sepehr (Winter 1984), "Reviewed Work: Iran between Two Revolutions by Ervand Abrahamian", Iranian Studies, 17 (1): 93–97, JSTOR 4310428, The underlying premise throughout the book will be E. P. Thompson's neo-Marxist approach that the phenomenon of class should be understood not simply in terms of its relation to the mode of production, as orthodox Marxists have often argued, but on the contrary, in the context of historical time of social friction with other contemporary classes.
  8. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  9. ^ Charlie Rose Show Interview: Archived 2013-04-03 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ World Focus Interview
  11. ^ Lawrence P. McDonald (September 1977), Trotskyism and Terror: The Strategy of Revolution, ACU Education and Research Institute, p. 36
  12. ^ Miss Harbison Engaged To Ervand Abrahamian, The New York Times, 27 January 1967, retrieved 29 January 2020

External linksEdit