Revolutions are momentous events, involving fundamental social, economic and political change. Because so much is at stake they are usually violent and bloody affairs, and as much blood is shed again in conflicts between the revolutionaries themselves. Indeed, some of the revolutions we consider here would not be considered revolutionary in their outcomes by many who participated on the revolutionary side. This is certainly the case for the Mexican, Ethiopian and Iranian revolutions, in which groups with very different visions of the future first fought side by side and later slaughtered each other. The analysis of revolution is as contentious as the practice of it. Because revolution is such a contestable concept, and because revolutions have a strong ideological component to them, we introduce our chapter on Third World revolution by raising broader considerations of the topic.
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