In 1918, New Zealand mining engineer Frank Holmes spoke of ‘an immense Arabian oilfield running from Kuwait down the mainland coast.’ No one believed him. When Holmes struck oil in 1932, Britain and America scrambled to rectify their catastrophic error of judgment. In the resulting industrial and colonial rivalry, the region’s destiny was radically transformed, socially, politically and economically.
Uniquely and in great detail, Keating documents the phenomenon of Arabian oil in light of these accompanying upheavals. The Arabian Peninsula’s history is seen as a dynamic process arising from the interaction and machinations of local sheikhdoms and states, colonial powers and oil companies.
About the Author
Aileen Keating was an international journalist who worked as the Arab Gulf Reporter for Time, Fortune, and Life, and was formerly a lecturer in politics and sociology at the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at Australian National University, Canberra.
'This book is one of the most excellent I have ever been priviliged to read ... I recommend it for a prize.'
Peter Avery, University of Cambridge
'Aileen Keating combines the skills of the archivist, the scholar and the journalist to great results.'
May Seikaly, Wayne State University, Detroit
'An in-depth, essential pick for any collection solid in Middle Eastern studies and issues.'
Midwest Book Review
'Excellent microanalysis ... This high quality volume will surely serve historians and those interested in the oil industry. Highly recommended.'