The Struggle for Sovereignty: Relations Between Great Britain and Jordan, 1946-1951

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The Struggle for Sovereignty: Relations Between Great Britain and Jordan, 1946-1951

By Ron Pundik
Blackwell, 1994
363 pp. $64.95
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The author, most recently known for his part in starting the Oslo negotiations between Israel and the PLO, reveals here that he is also an accomplished historian. Pundik takes issue with the idea that Britain colluded with Israel and Jordan to ensure that the West Bank would be taken by King Abdallah ibn Hussein in 1948. Jordan's early history as an independent state is coming under increasing scholarly scrutiny, thanks to the availability of the British archival records. According to Pundik, it was more a case of Abdallah pushing forward and the British not resisting. Politics in these early years revolved around the king, British resident Alek Kirkbride, and Glubb Pasha of the Arab Legion. Abdallah used the British to try to further his regional ambitions, and with time the forces of nationalism weakened their role, as well as his own.