HAMID SHOKAT was born in 1949 in Tehran. He left Iran and went to the United States of America in 1968. He soon joined the ranks of the radical movement, particularly, the Iranian student apposed to the Shah. On the eve of the monarcy’s fall in 1979, he participated in the creation of the National Democratic Front of Iran, dedicated to upholding secular democratic values. He was a contributing editor of the Front’s official organ, Azadi. When the publication was banned, he decided to leave Iran. Currently, He is a resident of Berlin and Berkeley, California.
He has published numerous articles and books, all hitherto focused on different aspects of the Marxist movement in Iran and the Soviet Union. His first two books- Background to the Transition to the One-Party System in Soviet Russia, 1917-1921 and The Lost Years: From The October Revolution to Lenin’s Death — dealt with the origins of totalitarian dictatorship in Russia and its impact on the evolution of Marxist theory, particularly amongst the Iranian Left.
A three-year grant from the Buntstift e.V Foundation, affiliated with Germany’s Green Party, allowed him to finish the research, and publish his two-volume study of the history and evolution of the movement of the Iranian students and the eventual creation, and collapse of their famous Iranian Students’ Confederation.
In 1985, Hamid embarked on a new project. Through in-depth interviews with four of the leading members of the Iranian Communist movement, he has offered a fresh, critical perspective on the personal pathos, behind-the-scene debates, theoretical struggle and the utopian dreams of a generation of Iranian Marxists. So far, four volumes have been published in the series called An inside look into the Iranian left movement. The fourth volume has been published in June of 2005.
The third edition of his recent book, the political biography of Ahmad Qavam (Qavam-os-Saltana), one of the most pivotal and controversial figures in the twentieth century political history of Iran, has been published in 2008.
His latest book, Flight into Darkness -a political biography of Shapour Bakhtiar, the last Prime Minister under the Shah before the Iranian Revolution of 1979, is published in Germany in November 2014.
Radicalization of the Pre-Revolution Student Movement Abroad
Hamid Shokat | Presented at the Third Biennial Conference on Iranian Studies
Washington, D.C. | May 2000