The Persian Gulf in Modern Times: People, Ports, and History

Monday, December 15, 2014

Editor: Lawrence G. Potter

Hardcover: 408 pages
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (Dec 17 2014)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1137485760
ISBN-13: 978-1137485762

Product Description

This book explores the historiography, ports, and peoples of the Persian Gulf over the past two centuries. The authors seek to clarify how the historical Gulf is different from that of the modern day, and offers a more inclusive history of the region than previously available. The volume takes a fresh approach that examines the region from the viewpoint of local historians combined with important original research. By restoring the history of minority communities which until now have been silenced, it provides a corrective to the "official story" put forward by modern states. It is a major contribution to the history of the region, and follows up the previous groundbreaking Palgrave Macmillan volume, also edited by Lawrence G. Potter, The Persian Gulf in History.


"Much of the historiography of the modern Gulf deals exclusively with either Iran or the region's Arab states, which helps to underscore the notion that this narrow stretch of water is a natural divide between the Persian and the Arab worlds. This book demonstrates that - prior to the establishment of modern borders - the Gulf ports benefited from unfettered interaction between both shores as well as their lively participation in the trade of the entire Indian Ocean. The voices of historians from the Gulf region demonstrate the ways in which migrants from the Arabian hinterland or the mountains of Baluchistan, enslaved and free people from Africa or the Ottoman Empire or sailors from Asia, all contributed to a particular way of life and a common Gulf culture. By breaking moulds, this book opens up enticing leads for further detailed research and a less divisive understanding of the history of the past two centuries of the Gulf." - Frauke Heard-Bey, PhD, historian, author of From Trucial States to United Arab Emirates 'Amid the recent proliferation of literature on the on the region, The Persian Gulf in Modern Times: People, Ports and History stands out for the depth of its scholarship and breadth of its coverage. The contributions to this book present new and original interpretations on the historiography of the Persian Gulf, trace the emergence of its port cities, and explore the appearance and growth of diverse communities of Indians, Baluchis, the Hawala, and Africans in Iran, the littoral states, and Eastern Arabia. For anyone interested in a more thorough and in-depth understanding of the Persian Gulf, this book is an essential read.' - Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University, Qatar

Table of Contents

Introduction, Lawrence G. Potter


1. Rethinking the History of Port Cities in the Gulf, Nelida Fuccaro
2. Narrative and the Historian's Craft in the Arabic Historiography of the Gulf, Fahad Ahmad Bishara
3. The Historiography of the Persian Gulf: A Survey of the 19th and 20th Century Persian Sources, Gholam Reza Vatandoust
4. Narrating the Gulf: Literary Evidence for History, Muhsin al-Musawi


5. The Rise and Fall of Port Cities in the Persian Gulf, Lawrence G. Potter
6. Muscat as a Port City, J. E. Peterson
7. Bushehr: Southern Gateway to Iran, Willem Floor
8. Inside a Gulf Port: The Dynamics of Urban Life in Pre-Oil Kuwait, Farah Al-Nakib


9. Indian Communities in the Persian Gulf, c. 1500–1947, James Onley
10. The Baluch as an Ethnic Group in the Persian Gulf Region, Carina Jahani
11. 'Purity and Confusion': The Hawala between Persians and Arabs in the Contemporary Gulf, Ahmed al-Dailami
12. The African Presence in Eastern Arabia, Matthew S. Hopper
13. Identity Transformations of African Communities in Iran, Behnaz A. Mirzai


Lawrence G. Potter, Columbia University, USA
Fahad Ahmad Bishara, College of William and Mary, USA
Ahmed al-Dailami, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
Willem Floor, Independent Scholar, USA
Nelida Fuccaro, University of London, United Kingdom
Matthew S. Hopper, California Polytechnic State University, USA
Carina Jahani, Uppsala University, Sweden
Behnaz Mirzai, Brock University, Canada
Muhsin al-Musawi, Columbia University, USA
Farah Al-Nakib, American University of Kuwait, Kuwait
James Onley, University of Exeter, United Kingdom
J.E. Peterson, Historian and Political Analyst, USA
Gholam Reza Vatandoust, American University of Kuwait, Kuwait

About the Author

Lawrence G. Potter is Adjunct Associate Professor of International Affairs at Columbia University, USA, where he has taught since 1996. He also serves as Deputy Director of the Gulf/2000 Project. He holds a PhD in History from Columbia and has edited five volumes on the region, most recently Sectarian Politics in the Persian Gulf and The Persian Gulf in History.