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In Who Is Knowledgeable Is Strong, Cyrus Schayegh tells two intertwined stories: how, in early twentieth-century Iran, an emerging middle class used modern scientific knowledge as its cultural and economic capital, and how, along with the state, it employed biomedical sciences to tackle presumably modern problems like the increasing stress of everyday life, people's defective willpower, and demographic stagnation. The book examines the ways by which scientific knowledge allowed the Iranian modernists to socially differentiate themselves from society at large and, at the very same time, to intervene in it. In so doing, it argues that both class formation and social reform emerged at the interstices of local Iranian and Western-dominated global contexts and concerns.
Part I. Science and the Formation of the Modern Iranian Middle Class, 1900-1950
1. The Historical Background
2. The Cultural and Discursive Dimensions
3. The Economic Dimensions
Part II. Medicalizing Modernity: Interactions between the Biomedical Sciences and Modernity in Iran, 1900-1950
4. The Dangers of Modernity: Neurology, Psychiatry, and the Effects of Modern Technology and a Modern Economy
5. Biopower: Hygiene, Eugenics, Genetics, and Iran's Double Demographic Problem
6. The Self-Reliant Personality: Psychology, Pedagogy, and the Problem of Willpower
Appendix. First-Time Advertisements by Physicians in the Tehran Daily Ettelaaynat, 1927-1939
Cyrus Schayegh is Assistant Professor at Princeton University.
“[This book] constitutes a welcome addition to the growing body of scholarly work on modern Iran.”—Fakhreddin Azimi American Historical Review
“Schayegh clearly has broken new ground.”—Afshin Matin-Asgari Journal Of World History
"A singular scholarly achievement and a valuable contribution to modern Iranian and Middle Eastern history. Schayegh's research promises to fuel ongoing debates concerning modernity and nationalism in Iran and elsewhere."—Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet, author of Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804-1946
"The author has accomplished the most thorough work of research that I am familiar with in the field of 20th century Iranian history."—H. E. Chehabi, Boston University
"A fascinating study of Iranian doctors and scientists and the ways they forged a distinctive route to modernity. This book is rich with insights for the present."—Lynn Hunt, University of California, Los Angeles