Although the Arabian Peninsula is the heartland of Islam and of the Arab world, for decades it did not receive the attention it deserves from scholars and writers. The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and the Middle East Centre of St Antony’s College, Oxford, jointly organized a series of seminars, culminating in a conference at which the papers in this volume (first published in 1972) were discussed. Together they constitute an authoritative statement of our present knowledge of several areas of the Peninsula, with particular emphasis on the Gulf States. Three chapters trace the history of Oman from pre-Islamic times to the recent past, and in so doing emphasize the theme of continuing conflict between sultan and imam. Other chapters examine the Gulf and the Peninsula from the standpoint of inter-Arab and of international relations. The third section of the book is devoted to a discussion of the increasing rate of social change in the area, and the final section deals with problems of oil and state and of economic development.
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