King Hussein of Jordan

Hussein I

Hussein I (hŏŏsān´, –īn´), 1935–99, king of Jordan; educated in England at Harrow and Sandhurst. He ascended the throne (1953) after his grandfather Abdullah I had been killed (1951) by a Palestinian extremist and after his father was declared (1952) mentally unfit to serve as king. The target of more than a dozen assassination attempts, Hussein generally espoused a moderate pro-Western policy that brought him into conflict with leftist leaders in other Arab countries as well as with Palestinians in Jordan. He maintained his throne largely through the support of the British-trained Arab Legion and the fierce loyalty of the Bedouins of E Jordan. Despite a generally moderate stance toward Israel, he led Jordan into the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as a result of which Israel occupied all Jordan W of the Jordan River (the West Bank). This loss intensified the conflict between Hussein and the Palestinian guerrilla movement, and civil war erupted in 1970. Hussein was victorious and strengthened his rule, but at a 1974 Arab summit meeting he agreed to relinquish any claim to the West Bank to the Palestine Liberation Organization. During the Persian Gulf War, Hussein was isolated internationally when he refused to join the coalition against Iraq. Subsequently, however, he played a role in encouraging peace negotiations between Arabs and Israelis, and in 1994 he signed a peace treaty with Israel. He was succeeded by his son Abdullah II, an army officer he had named crown prince only weeks before he died.

See biographies by N. Ashton (2008) and A. Shlaim (2008).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Jordan in Transition: From Hussein to Abdullah
Curtis R. Ryan.
Lynne Rienner, 2002
Troubles on the East Bank: Challenges to the Domestic Stability of Jordan
Robert B. Satloff.
Praeger, 1986
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Facing the King's Dilemma" and Chap. 4 "Jordan after Hussein"
Behind the Uprising: Israelis, Jordanians, and Palestinians
Yossi Melman; Dan Raviv.
Greenwood Press, 1989
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 4 "Hussein the Heir"
Heir Jordan: One State's Story of Economic Transformation. (Perspectives)
Abdullah, King, II.
Harvard International Review, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2003
Israel, the Hashemites, and the Palestinians: The Fateful Triangle
Efraim Karsh; P. R. Kumaraswamy.
Frank Cass, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Hussein and the Israel-Palestinian Peace Accords" begins on p. 57
Dynastic Modernism and Its Contradictions: Testing the Limits of Pluralism, Tribalism, and King Hussein's Example in Hashemite Jordan
Shryock, Andrew.
Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), Vol. 22, No. 3, Summer 2000
State Strength, Permeability, and Foreign Policy Behavior: Jordan in Theoretical Perspective
Salloukh, Bassel F.
Arab Studies Quarterly (ASQ), Vol. 18, No. 2, Spring 1996
Home and Homeland: The Dialogics of Tribal and National Identities in Jordan
Linda L. Layne.
Princeton University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of King Hussein of Jordan begins on p. 143
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