Abbas Milani in Open Democracy lists three paradoxes of the revolution. have a look. I have also learned the following data, which sounds funny. I do not know how one can really calculate this but:
It was, by near-consensus among scholars and experts, the most "popular revolution" in modern times: almost 11% of the population participated in it, compared to the estimated proportionate of citizens who took part in the French (7%) and Russian (9%) revolutions.
Wikipedia has a good background on the Iranian Revolution.
The Iranian Revolution (mostly known as the Islamic Revolution, Persian: انقلاب اسلامی, Enghelābe Eslāmi) was the revolution that transformed Iran from a constitutional monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to an Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic. It has been called "the third great revolution in history", following the French and Bolshevik revolutions, and an event that "made Islamic fundamentalism a political force … from Morocco to Malaysia."
Among the revolutionary leaders listed, I would like to (only) hail Ali Shariati whose impact has certainly disappeared in the very first days of the revolution… Another victim of the revolution; about Shariati’s ideas:
Shariati’s works were highly influenced by the Marxism and Third Worldism that he encountered as a student in Paris – ideas that class war and revolution would bring about a just and classless society – from one side, and the Islamic Puritanism (or the Islamic Reformation) movements of his time from the other side. He is said to have adopted the idea of Gharbzadegi from Jalal Al-e Ahmad and given it "its most vibrant and influential second life." 
He sought to translate these ideas into cultural symbols of Shiism that Iranians could relate to. He believed Shia should not merely await the return of the 12th Imam but should actively work to hasten his return by fighting for social justice, "even to the point of embracing martyrdom", saying "everyday is Ashoura, every place is Karbala." 
Shariati referred to his brand of Shiism as "red Shiism" which he contrasted with "black Shiism" or Safavid Shiism. His ideas have been compared to the Catholic Liberation Theology movement founded in South America by Peruvian Gustavo Gutierrez and Brazilian Leonardo Boff. (see Red Shi’ism vs. Black Shi’ism)
See also Hamid Dabashi‘s
Authority in Islam: From the Rise of Muhammad to the Establishment of the Umayyads (not related to Iranian Revolution b
ut one of the founding books in my approach to Islam along with Ali Shariati’s Religion Vs. Religion