This is a Very Interesting speach by Dr. Abbas Milani followed by Q&A with the audience on Modernity in Iran and the challenges of the Iranian Intelligenstia in the 20th century. This speach was made in 2005 following the publication of Milani’s book Lost Wisdom: Rethinking Modernity in Iran.
Milani is certainly one of the most interesting thinkers of his generation who has tried to take an objective look at the history of contemporary Iran and who insists on the importance of historical documentation and methodology which to a large degree has been ignored from the perspective of many Iranian historians. Another origninality in Milani’s work is that he has also tried to offer substantiated evidence that contrary to general perception both inside and outside Iran that democratic ideals are deeply rooted in Iranian culture. Also that one of the shortcomings of many Iranian historians and even political thinkers in the second halfo of 20th century Iran has been to greatly rely on biaised Western philisophical and historical feedbacks in order to study their history while ignoring their own democratic heritage which was most outspokenly expressed by the Intelligenstia that brought about the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1906.
Here are video excerpts from Google Video of this speach and Q&A with the audience (Unfortunately I did not find the entire speach in continuity, but still very interesting content can be viewed below) :