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© 2015, The Columbia University Press.

King Hussein of Jordan: Selected full-text books and articles

Troubles on the East Bank: Challenges to the Domestic Stability of Jordan By 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 By 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) By Abdullah, King, II Harvard International Review, Vol. 24, No. 4, Winter 2003
Israel, the Hashemites, and the Palestinians: The Fateful Triangle By Efraim Karsh; P. R. Kumaraswamy Frank Cass, 2003
Librarian’s tip: "Hussein and the Israel-Palestinian Peace Accords" begins on p. 57
State Strength, Permeability, and Foreign Policy Behavior: Jordan in Theoretical Perspective By 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 By Linda L. Layne Princeton University Press, 1994
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of King Hussein of Jordan begins on p. 143
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