Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 February 2015
This article investigates the evolution of print culture and commerce in Tehran during the first half of the 20th century. The first section examines technological changes that facilitated the commercialization of texts and then details the history of early print entrepreneurs in the Tehran bazaar. The second section examines the expansion of the book trade between the 1920s and 1940s, tracing the emergence of modern bookstores in a rapidly changing Tehran. I argue that patterns of change in print commerce between 1900 and 1950 contributed to the emergence of mass culture by midcentury. This new mass culture involved the social and political empowerment of a diversity of new reading publics in the city, and enabled the emergence of new forms of popular politics.
Author's note: This article was originally presented at the 2013 Middle East Studies Association conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. I thank my copanelists for their valuable feedback. I also thank the four anonymous IJMES reviewers for their helpful comments as well as Kathleen A. Kelly, Akram Khater, and Jeffrey Culang for their detailed editorial suggestions.
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33 Ramazani, “Khandan,” 86.
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40 Balaghi, Nationalism, 195–200.
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43 Balaghi describes shipments of newspapers hidden in crates of cloth and sugar being smuggled via networks of Iranian merchants in Iran and abroad. See Balaghi, Nationalism, 198.
44 Parvin, “Ruznamanigari,” 180–81.
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60 Shahri, Tarikh-i Ijtimaʿi, 4:130; Balaghi, Nationalism, 199; Afary, Revolution, 117.
61 Shahri, Tarikh-i Ijtimaʿi, 5:647–48; Balaghi, “Print Culture,” 168–70.
62 Balaghi, “Print Culture,” 168.
63 For similar patterns elsewhere in the region, see Ayalon, Reading Palestine, 96–101; and Fortna, Learning to Read, 78.
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69 Afshar, “Anjumanha,” 381.
70 Ibid. The terms kānūn (assembly), anjuman (society), and pātugh (haunt) added to the complexity of terms referring to sites of social gathering where books were made available for purchase, reading, and/or discussion. See also ʿAli Muhammad Hunar, “Kitabfurushiha-yi Patughi,” in Afshar, Kitabfurushi, 1:689–90.
71 Nadir Mutallabi-Kashani, “Kitabfurushan-i Tehran Dar Sal-i 1306,” in Afshar, Kitabfurushi, 1:603–7.
77 Martin Seger, “Segregation of Retail Facilities and the Bipolar City Centre of Tehran,” in Adle and Hourcade, Téhéran, 287.
78 The 1939 data comes from Fatima Qaziha, “Asnadi az Kitabfurushan dar Sazman-i Asnad va Kitabkhana-yi Milli-yi Iran,” in Afshar, Kitabfurushi, 1:421–79. The 1935 data comes from “Salnama va Ihsaʾiyya: 1312–1313 va 1313–1314,” Dawlat-i Shahanshahi-yi Iran: Vizarat-i Maʿarif (Tehran: Idara-i Kull-i Intibaʿat, 1935), 122–25. I am grateful to Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi for providing me with this source. See also Mansur Safat-Gul, “Ihsaʾiyya-yi Kitabkhanaha va Kitabfurushiha-yi Iran dar Khurdad-i Sal-i 1314,” in Afshar, Kitabfurushi, 2:225–29.
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105 Taraqqi, “Khandan,” 55–59.
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107 Ibid., 58; Katayun Mazdapur, “Kitabfurushi Miyan-i Zartushtiyan,” in Afshar, Kitabfurushi, 2:97–98; Iraj Afshar, “Parakandaha dar bara-yi Kitabfurushi,” in Afshar, Kitabfurushi, 2:592–93.
108 Injavi-Shirazi, “Hadis-i Kitab,” 55; Taraqqi, “Khandan,” 55–56.
109 Injavi-Shirazi, “Hadis-i Kitab,” 55; Jaʿfari, Dar Justiju, 1:411; Hunar, “Kitabfurushiha,” 693–94.
111 Taraqqi, “Khandan,” 56–57; Jaʿfari, Dar Justiju, 1:398.
112 Jaʿfari, Dar Justiju, 1:257.
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120 Jaʿfari, Dar Justiju, 1:402–3; Iqbal, Yadnama, 61–66.
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136 Vivek Bhandari, “Print and the Emergence of Multiple Publics in Nineteenth-Century Punjab,” in Baron, Agent of Change, 285.