Keepers of the Golden Shore
A History of the United Arab Emirates
by Michael Quentin Morton
English edition published on 15 February 2016 in the
UK by Reaktion Books and on 15 March in the USA by Chicago University Press
Hardback, 256 pages, 54 photographs,
For those who come to
the United Arab Emirates, staying in luxurious air-conditioned hotels and visiting ultra-modern shopping malls, the country
appears an enigma, a glass and concrete fabrication that seems to have sprung from the desert overnight. Keepers of the
Golden Shore looks behind the glossy facade, tracing the history of the region from its beginnings in nomadic tribes
to the affluent society of today, casting a new and revealing light on a much-misunderstood land. On 2 December 1971, the
United Arab Emirates was born; Great Britain signed a Treaty of Friendship marking the end of its presence in the region.
Many thought it was doomed to fail, and yet nothing
can be taken for granted in this land of mirages and hidden treasures. Across the spread of its deserts, mountains, islands
and seas, the UAE has a rich and diverse history. From ancient people who emerged from the desert to settle there, through
many invasions and wars, the myths of piracy and the mystique of pearls, to the arrival of oilmen drilling beneath the dunes
in the stifling heat, Keepers of the Golden Shore tells the extraordinary story of how the Emirates evolved from
an impoverished tribal society to become one of the richest countries on Earth today.
'Quentin Morton offers us a comprehensive history of the United Arab
Emirates from the earliest times to the present. It is an enthralling tale, told with verve and clarity, and covers the
emergence of Greater Oman after the coming of Islam, the rise and fall of the pearling industry, the hungry years of the
Second World War and the discovery of oil. Evocative illustrations remind us that this is living history in the sense that
much of the history is relevant to the life of the UAE today, particularly relationships within the emirates and the state's
relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia.' - Sir Harold Walker, former ambassador to the UAE
'Keepers of the Golden Shore covers the country from prehistory to the present
day in less than 250 pages . . . a welcome, readable and much needed starting point for new readers and new arrivals to the
UAE who want a better understanding of the people and places around them.' - James Langton, The National,
For the full review, click here.
'Quentin Morton, who grew up in the Gulf, writes with calm authority and rational
judgment about the often passionate rivalry between the various emirates and their ruling families, several of which engaged
in fratricide and other dastardly acts . . . for anyone who wants to understand from where what is now the UAE emerged and
how that happened this is a most useful and readable account.' - Jonathan Fryer, Interlib magazine
'This excellent and readable book, with a
wealth of illustrations, begins by charting the early tribal history of the coast and its extensive trading relationships'
- The Anglo-Omani Society Review.
Published in the UK (February 2016) and the USA (March 2016):