Fred Halliday writes: 'The Arab Middle East is 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.
Fred Halliday is professor of international relations at the London School of Economics. He is the author of many books, including The Making of the Cold War (1983), Rethinking International Relations (1994), Islam and the Myth of Confrontation (1996), Revolution and World Politics (1999), and Nation and Religion in the Middle East (2000), also published by Saqi Books.