By Rosemary Said Zahlan
The Gulf States are the focus of great international interest – yet their fabulous evolution from pearl-fishing to oil-drilling, their individuality and variety, are screened by a thick cloud of petro-dollars. This book, first published in 1989, tells the story of their formation, their evolution from colonial dependency to statehood, and their transformation by oil. The result is an informed and balanced picture of the political, economic, religious and cultural character of the area. It is also a story of the powerful families and their sheikhs that have had to hurry these states into the modern world; of the interchanging role of political and economic dependence, the influence of the oil industry, the influx of workers from abroad, and the varying forces acting on the Gulf States.