The Women s Awakening Project in late s Iran under Reza Shah Pahlavi is the focus of this historical look at the emergence of the modern concept of womanhood in Iran Amin s extensive research confirms that Reza Shah s controversial attempt to forcibly westernize Iranian women, and not the pre revolutionarys, marked the turning point for the woman question in Iran Drawing on a combination of archival data, oral history, diplomatic sources, and contemporary press reports, Amin s is the first book to explore the Women s Awakening Project in such detail By illustrating Reza Shah s efforts both to emancipate and to control Iranian women, the book raises new questions about the relationship between the Iranian state and its female citizens Amin breaks new ground in the study of Iranian history by examining the links between state policy, popular culture, and individual memory This highly readable book also provides crucial background for understanding the current debate between hardliners and reformers in Iran