ʿEBRAT, a monthly magazine first published on 15 Bahman 1334 Š./4 February 1956 as the organ of Tūda party prisoners under the auspices and with the facilities of the Office of Tehran’s Military Governor, General Teymūr Baḵtīār. Its format was thirty-eight, and later sixty-six, 16.5 x 23 cm pages, priced at 10 rials.
Ebrat’s mission was evidently to influence Tūda party members both inside and outside prison, to wean them from Soviet influence, and to win them over to the Pahlavi regime. The magazine carried declarations of anti-Tūda recantation and collective letters of devotion to the shah by former members of the Tūda party (1/3, March 1956, p. 2), as well as systematic articles by former members about Tūda leadership, its aims and methods, its internal rivalries and factionalism, its attachment to the Soviet Union, and the causes of its defeat. The publication also carried articles on the nature of Soviet communism, the cult of Stalin, the discrepancies between Soviet words and deeds, and the Hungarian revolt of 1956 (1/11, 12). It ran a series of translations from the American journal Problems of Communism. It also published articles on the history of the Constitutional revolution and on Bābak Ḵorramdīn, one of Persia’s symbols of patriotism in the fight against foreign invaders.
As the release of Tūda prisoners began in late 1950s, the format of the magazine changed. In 1959-60, it no longer carried the “organ” subtitle and claimed to be the young generation’s guide in science and philosophy (rāhnemā-ye nasl-e javān dar ʿelm o falsafa). Its contributors were no longer solely Tūda party former members, although it continued to address issues pertaining to the Soviet state and party, the chances of Tūda revival, the beginning of the Sino-Soviet rift, and Perso-Soviet relations. It also devoted considerable space to non-political matters, such as literature and poetry, recent history and parliamentary elections in Persia, and issues pertaining to the country’s neighbors. The magazine ceased publication with the regime’s serious political crisis at the beginning of the 1960s; its last issue was published in Day 1340 Š./December 1961-January 1962.
Although ʿEbrat may have served as a vehicle for a good number of former Tūda members to free themselves from their political past and to win release from prison, its political results do not seem to have been uniform. As attested by their writing styles and discourses, some contributors essentially remained children of the Tūda party, although their allegiance to the Soviet Union and the Tūda may have been broken. Others were won over to the Pahlavi regime; yet others retired completely from politics and devoted themselves to academic or literary pursuits.
M. Barzīn, Šenās-nāma-ye maṭbūʿāt-e Īrān, Tehran, 1371 Š./1992, p. 290.
N. Jāmī (pseud.) Goḏašta čerāḡ-e rāh-e āyanda, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1362 Š./1983, pp. 654-56.
R. March and R. D. McChesney, A List of Persian Serials in the Princeton University Library, Princeton, 1971.
Š. Meskūb, Dar bāra-ye sīāsat o farhang, ed .ʿA. Banūazīzī, Paris, 1994, pp. 95-101.
B. Sartīpzāda and K. Ḵodāparast, Fehrest-e majallāt-e mawjūd dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye mellī-e Īrān, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977, p. 325.
L. Sūdbaḵš, Fehrest-e našrīyāt-e adwārī dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazī-e Fārs, Shiraz, 1368 Š./1989, p. 536.
Originally Published: December 15, 1997
Last Updated: December 8, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. VIII, Fasc. 1, p. 79