This book is an important political and economic history of the unravelling of the British Empire and its connection to the decline of sterling as a leading international currency. Analyzing events such as the 1951 Iranian oil nationalization crisis and the 1956 Suez crisis, Steven Galpern provides a new perspective on British imperialism in the Middle East by reframing British policy in the context of the government's postwar efforts to maintain the international prestige of the pound. He reveals the link that British officials made between the Middle Eastern oil trade and the strength of sterling and how this influenced government policy and strained relationships with the Middle East, the United States, and multinational oil firms. In so doing, this book draws revealing parallels between the British experience and that of the United States today and will be essential reading for scholars of the British empire, Middle East studies and economic history.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press