Magazine article Geographical

Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers

Magazine article Geographical

Desert Kingdoms to Global Powers

Article excerpt

DESERT KINGDOMS TO GLOBAL POWERS

by Rory Miller; Yale University Press; 20 [pounds sterling] (hardback)

A great deal has been written about the dramatic rise of the Gulf states from quiet, sandy backwaters in the 1970s to the shiny, towering cities that emerge dripping with oil money from the desert today. However, it is possible, as Miller shows, to take a highly nuanced view on this rapid transition. Despite their cultural and economic similarities these countries have significantly distinctive identities, and have experienced vastly different trajectories. Qatar is not Kuwait, Bahrain is not Oman, the UAE is internally very different from even itself, and no other country in the world is anything like Saudi Arabia.

Miller goes through their respective histories in fine detail, exploring the local, regional, and international incidents over the past four decades which have shaped this part of the world, their fortunes frequently as volatile as the oil price on which they are so heavily dependent. …

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