By: John Beasant
Oman is one of the world's most secretive countries,ruled with absolute authority by the Sultan. All information is strictly controlled by the State: British Prime Minister Edward Heath once said that the story of the 1970 Palace Coup and the events that followed would `not be told in our lifetime'. Following ten years' residency in the country a senior member of Sultan Qaboos's Family suggested that John Beasant write a political history of Oman that would to some extent rehabilitate the maligned name of former Sultan Said, who was deposed in the 1970 Coup.
In 'Oman' Beasant catalogues a nature of exploitation woven through all manner of political and commercial interests and casts light on the dark practices so often involved in the sale of arms to Middle Eastern states and illustrates the political use to which the sale of `black gold' - oil - can be put. Oman is a parable of our times, detailing rivalry and intrigue between people in high places. It is one of the most dramatic tales in Arab history: a chronicle of personal price, rapacious greed and undiluted lust for power.