On Feb. 11, 1979, the shah’s pampered army surrendered to Khomeini’s mullahs, ending more than 2,500 years of continuous monarchy. A revolt had turned into a revolution when the whole nation rose up gradually against the authoritarian regime. Is it the fate of every revolution to be confiscated by its more extremist elements? Hopes of a genuine democracy were crushed when the mullarchy—by manipulating the American diplomats hostage crisis—turned Iran into a militant Islamic Republic.
I covered Iran in the early ’70s, then the revolution as an involved witness for 18 months—this was my country, my people, my revolution, at least at the beginning. Here is my vision, with kind help from Ludwig.
In 1962, Leonard Freed went to Berlin to shoot the wall being erected. There he saw a black soldier standing in front of the wall, and it struck him: At home in the United States, black people were struggling for civil rights, and here in Germany, a black soldier was ready to defend the United States. This prompted a lengthy examination by Freed of the plight of black people at home in the United States. Freed traveled to New York; Washington, D.C.; and all throughout the South, capturing images of a segregated society. The photos taken at that time were published in 1968 in Black in White America.