Few states in the modern world have had a less promising birth than Jordan. When in 1921 the Hashemite Emir Abdallah was recognized as the ruler of this romantic backwater of the former Ottoman Empire, it was sparsely populated, extremely poor, and widely regarded as ungovernable. Today against all the odds, Jordan has become one of the most prosperous and stable of Middle Eastern countries and a major player in the region's politics. In this political history, Kamal Salibi attempts to explain how this transformation was achieved. The book traces the story of modern Jordan from its origins in the Arab revolt at the end of World War I and the political success of the astute and colourful founder of its ruling dynasty. It includes a detailed examination of the far-reaching implications for Jordan of the Palestinian tragedy and a constantly tense relationship with neighbouring Israel and it shows how King Hussein, the longest surviving ruler in the contemporary Middle East, has guided the country through these difficult times to introduce democracy in 1988.
The land and its story; "the stone which the builders refused"; the dynastic background; the founder; putting the country together; Abdullah and the Palestinian; a kingdom at a price; learning the game of nations; the difficult years; two sovereignty in conflict; "a stone for the corner".