Iran in Motion is an important contribution to the history of railway construction and its wider socio-political impact in a non-colonial context. At a related level, the volume also adds to our understanding of the diverse impetus behind railway building in the twentieth century. Broadly speaking, the history of railway building and its wider influence is largely a nineteenth-century story. But by focusing on the twentieth century, this book shows how the technology transfer related to railway construction and operation was adapted in Iran and was deployed to suit the changing needs of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s Iran.

The book has seven chapters, excluding the introduction and the conclusion. The introduction sets out the analytical and methodological parameters of the book, including a “roadmap” with handy chapter summaries. The first two chapters underline how different visions—those of the late-imperial British and Iranian state in the early decades of the twentieth...

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