Review by Choice Review
The title of this book is a misnomer: rather than a history of modern Bahrain, this is a history of that country's foreign relations in the 20th century as seen from London and Washington, and exclusively based on English-language sources. Much of the discussion occurs in a vacuum with regard to Bahrain's domestic conditions--its indigenous political makeup and ethnic composition. While offering a useful outline of Bahrain's dealing with the West, the author pays scant attention to the wider geopolitical context shaping events, beyond superficial references to the rising tide of (pan-)Arab nationalism, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Iranian Revolution of 1978-79. Joyce (Purdue Univ., Calumet) focuses on how Bahrain's rulers have dealt with the momentous challenges of 20th-century world events, most importantly the waning influence of Great Britain, leading to its withdrawal from the Persian Gulf in 1971, and the concomitant rise of the US presence in the region. She shows how Bahrain reluctantly accepted the British withdrawal as an inevitable and irreversible development and hesitantly accommodated themselves to the growing influence of the US. Readers who seek information on Bahrain's political structure and socioreligious makeup will have to look elsewhere. Summing Up: Optional. Undergraduate collections/public libraries. R. P. Matthee University of Delaware
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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