The Persian Gulf. An Historical Sketch from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century

Description

Sir Arnold Talbot Wilson (1884-1940) was a British colonial administrator, soldier, and politician. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in 1903 and served as an officer in the British Army in India. He was transferred to the Indian Political Department and subsequently sent to the Persian Gulf. Wilson was the British civil commissioner in Baghdad in 1918–20. Although he was credited with improving the country’s administration, he was criticized for his violent repression of the 1920 Iraqi revolt against the British. At the 1919 Paris Peace Conference that followed World War I, he successfully recommended changing the Greek name “Mesopotamia” to the Arabic “Iraq.” However, the British government ultimately rejected his view that Iraq should not be granted independence, and he was removed from his position. Wilson later became a member of Parliament. With the outbreak of World War II, he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He served as a pilot officer and was killed in action in northern France. The Persian Gulf. An Historical Sketch from the Earliest Times to the Beginning of the Twentieth Century is a concise history of the region. Wilson begins with the writings of Greek, Roman, and Muslim geographers, followed by chapters on the arrival of European powers, beginning with the Portuguese, the British, and the Dutch. A later chapter discusses the growth of the British influence, starting in the 18th century. Other topics covered in the book are piracy, the slave trade, and the growth of Arab principalities.

Last updated: February 18, 2016