Part 1 Religious modernism and nationalism in a dual society: the Iranian polity in comparative perspective - old polities of the developing world - the case of Iran, legitimacy in Iran, a dual society, religious modernism, government and opposition in Iran; ideological content and social identity of Shi'ite modernism - precursors and sources of inspiration, major themes, from religious ideology to the ideologization of religion, parallels with Christian democracy, social identity of the LMI. Part 2 The liberation movement of Iran under the Shah: on the sidelines - the early years - formative years, years of turmoil - 1941-1953, the national resistance movement; the liberalization of the early 1960s - American dissatisfaction, the second National Front, the LMI and its activities, the religious reform movement of the early 1960s, the end of traditional politics; crossing the desert - 1963-1977 - the LMI's second generation, LMI activities outside Iran, the Hoseiniyeh Ershad institute, the Mojahedin, from religious modernism to the triumph of fundamentalism. Part 3 The liberation movement of Iran and the Islamic revolution: the liberation movement of Iran and the liberalization of 1977-1978 - Carter's human rights policy and Iran, the Iranian committee for the defense of freedom and human rights, aborted transition and revolution; the provisional government - composition of the government, the tasks of the provisional government, policy dilemmas, the LMI in 1979; the liberation movement of Iran as loyal opposition - the LMI between the seizure of the hostages and the ouster of President Banisadr, the LMI since 1981. Conclusion. Appendices: the party programme of the liberation movement of Iran in 1961; the liberation movement of Iran programme of July 1980.