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Dimensions:
234 × 156 mm
264 pages
Format:
Hardback
ISBN:
9781780238104
Illustrations:
59 illustrations
Published:
01 Aug 2017

Empires and Anarchies A History of Oil in the Middle East Michael Quentin Morton

The Middle East has the greatest oil reservoirs in the world. But, having created immense wealth, oil has not brought universal happiness to the region. The history of oil is about not only the great discoveries but the transformation of people and societies, the empires built on oil and the anarchies it has engendered.

From the first explorers trudging through the desert wastes to the excesses of the Peacock Throne and the high stakes of OPEC, the burnt-out remains of Saddam Hussein’s armies and the human tragedy of the Arab Spring, Empires and Anarchies describes the history of oil in all its aspects: how it enriched and fractured the Middle East, eroding traditional ways of life and facilitating the rise of Islamic radicalism.

Michael Quentin Morton’s account presents a fascinating insight into the historical background of the region through the people and politics of oil. It is essential reading for anyone intrigued by the promise and the curse of oil, as well as for those interested in how oil has played a crucial part in shaping the modern Middle East.

‘The history of oil is about not only the great discoveries but the transformation of people and societies, the empires built on oil and the anarchies it has engendered. Empires and Anarchies is very different to the conventional narrative. Here the burnt-out remains of Saddam Hussein's armies and the human tragedy of the Arab Spring are as much of the story as the shimmering skylines of the oil-rich nations. From the first explorers trudging through the desert wastes to the excesses of the Peacock Throne and the high stakes of OPEC, the history of oil is described in all its aspects: how it enriched and fractured the Middle East, eroding traditional ways of life and facilitating the rise of Islamic radicalism . . . Fascinating insight into the historical background of the region through the people and politics of oil. It is essential reading for anyone intrigued by the promise and the curse of oil, as well as for those interested in how oil has played a crucial part in shaping the modern Middle East.’ – OilVoice.com

‘An excellent, readable introduction to the history and development of oil in the Middle East . . . It is a complicated story but Quentin Morton handles it well with engaging, insightful, and humorous details that bring the broader international, political, and social aspects into high relief.’ – J. E. Peterson, editor of The Emergence of the Gulf: Studies in Modern History

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Michael Quentin Morton grew up in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the 1950s and ’60s. He has written a number of books on the history of the Middle East, including Keepers of the Golden Shore: A History of the United Arab Emirates (Reaktion, 2016).