SOAS University of London

Centre for Iranian Studies

Life, and Death, of A King in Exile: The Final Years of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Founder of Modern Iran

IMG - Shaul Bakhash Book
Shaul Bakhash

Date: 18 March 2021Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 18 March 2021Time: 7:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Virtual Event



Reza Shah's authoritarian and modernising reign transformed Iran, but his rule and Iran's independence ended unexpectedly in 1941, when Britain and the Soviet Union invaded Iran and engineered Reza Shah’s abdication. In this lecture, Shaul Bakhash will describe the factors that shaped his decision to abdicate and Reza Shah’s final journey into unhappy exile in Mauritius and Johannesburg, the two places the British had chosen for him; his life in exile; his finances; and his testy relationship with the British in whose control the circumstances of war had placed him.

Event Recording

Loading the player...

Life, and Death, of A King in Exile: The Final Years of Reza Shah Pahlavi, Founder of Modern Iran

About the speaker

Shaul Bakhash is the Clarence Robinson Professor of History Emeritus at George Mason University and a specialist in the history of the modern Middle East with a focused interest in the history of Iran.

He received his B. A. and M. A. from Harvard University and his D. Phil from the University of Oxford. He worked for many years as a journalist in Iran, writing for Tehran-based Kayhan Newspapers as well as for the London Times, the Financial Times, and the Economist. He has been a Fellow at Guggenheim Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson International Centre for Scholars, as well as fellowships at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton and other research centres.

He is the author of Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution (Basic Books, 1986), Iran: Monarchy, Bureaucracy and Reform under the Qajars, 1858-1896 (Ithaca, 1978), and most recently The Fall of Reza Shah: The Abdication, Exile and Death of Modern Iran's Founder (Bloomsbury / I.B. Tauris, 2021). 

His articles on the political and social history of the Middle East have appeared in numerous books and journals. He has also written for the New York Review of Books, Foreign Policy, Middle East Journal, Democracy, and other publications. His Op-ed essays have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other newspapers.


This webinar will take place online via Zoom. Click here to register

* The webinar will also be live-streamed on our Facebook page for those that are unable to participate via Zoom.

Chair: Narguess Farzad (SOAS)

Organiser: Centre for Iranian Studies, SOAS

Contact email: