Creating the Arabian Gulf: The British Raj and the Invasions of the Gulfby Paul J. Rich
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Even whether to call the Gulf 'Arabian' or 'Persian' is an unending argument. Regardless of its name, the Gulf is one of the most politically important regions of the world. Despite its constant presence in the headlines, the fact that it was part of the British Indian empire for many years has gone unappreciated. The long period of British control and the connections with India are, in fact, necessary in understanding the contemporary Middle East. With more than ten years of experience as a government advisor in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Paul Rich draws on previously closed archives to document the actual heritage of the area and dispel the myths. Rich shows that the influences of Britain and India are far deeper than commonly acknowledged, and that the sheikhs are actually the creation of the British Raj. He explains that they owe their thrones to a small group of British political agents_the 'Heaven Born'_who created the satraps and then proceeded to rule from behind the scenes by a clever use of stagecraft and ritual that was heavily flavored by their experiences at English public schools and in Masonic lodges. In its attempt to make sense of the complexity of Arab sheikhdoms in the Gulf, Creating the Arabian Gulf is an ideal book for students and scholars interested in Middle East studies and international relations.
Meet the Author
Paul J. Rich is president of the Policy Studies Organization in Washington, D.C. and visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was the head of supervisory programs for the Ministry of Education and Culture in Qatar for twelve years. Dr. Rich is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, recipient of the Cameron Medal for social science research, and Life Governor of Harris Manchester College in the University of Oxford.
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