Arabia Without Sultans

Arabia Without Sultans

9780863563812 September 2001 Paperback 542pp

About the Book

Fred Halliday writes: ‘The Arab Middle East is probably the most misunderstood of all regions; the one with the longest history of contact with the west; yet it is probably the one least understood. Part of the misunderstanding is due to the romantic mythology that has long appeared to shroud the deserts of the peninsula. Where old myths have broken down, new ones have absorbed them or taken their place. Now the Sheikh of Arabia has stepped down from his camel. Instead, through the delusive lens of the ‘energy crisis’ he is seen to be riding a Cadillac and squeezing the powerless Western consumer of oil.’

First published in the 1970s, Arabia Without Sultans retains its validity for the present as it analyses the Arabian peninsula and Iran within the global context of western post-colonial strategy and the political economy of oil. Halliday offers a thorough study of the history, the politics and the economics of this region in an ambitious, encompassing and entertaining manner.

This classic work remains indispensable for students, academics, and all those who wish to have a greater understanding of the Arabian peninsula.

About the Author

Fred Halliday (1946–2010) was Professor Emeritus of International Relations at the London School of Economics and a research professor at the Barcelona Institute for International Studies. He published over twenty books, including Two Hours that Shook the World and 100 Myths about the Middle East (both by Saqi Books).


‘A well-documented work, written by an author who knows the language of the area.’
Maxime Rodinson

‘Halliday provides an unusual view-point and a well-documented description of the history of these states.’
Middle East International

‘Anyone interested in this area will want to read this.’
International Affairs

‘A most valuable account of the developments which have taken place in the Arab Gulf over the last hundred years.’
Tariq Ali