Empires and Anarchies: A History of Oil in the Middle East
Oil lies at the heart of the modern history of the Middle East. For decades, the world’s largest oil reserves have enriched the region’s nations. But oil wealth has not brought with it universal prosperity. It has, though, transformed the Middle Eastern people and societies—enriching empires and engendering anarchies.
Empires and Anarchies is an unconventional history of oil in the Middle East. In Michael Quentin Morton’s account the burnt-out remains of Saddam Hussein’s armaments and the human tragedy of the Arab Spring are as much of the story as the shimmering skylines of oil-rich nations. From the first explorers trudging through the desert to the excesses of the Peacock Throne and the high stakes of OPEC, Morton lays out the history of oil in compelling detail, arguing that oil simultaneously enriched and fractured the Middle East, eroding traditional ways of life, and eventually contributing to the rise of Islamic radicalism. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in the promises and peril of the world’s oil boom.
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Abadan Abdullah Abu Dhabi Al Hasa American Anglo-Iranian Anglo-Persian Aramco Baghdad Bahrain Bakhtiari barrels Basra bedouin Britain British brought cent share company’s country’s crude oil D’Arcy desert diplomatic drilling Dukhan Emirates exploration export Faisal favour forces French geological geologists German global Gulbenkian Gulf Hasa Holmes Ibn Saud interest ipc group Iran Iran’s Iranian oil Iraq Iraq’s Iraqi government Iraqi oil Jersey Standard khans kilometres King Kirkuk Kuwait later London Majlis Mesopotamia Middle East military million Mossadegh Mosul nationalist nationalization negotiations oil companies oil concession oil industry oil majors oil prices oil production oil revenues oil wealth oilfields opec operations Ottoman Persian Petroleum Company pipeline political price of oil prime minister pumping Qasim Qatar Red Line Agreement refinery region Reza Shah Riyadh Royal Dutch Shell rulers Saddam Hussein Saudi Arabia shah’s shareholders Sheikh sheikhdom survey Tehran troops United Western workers