Davies, Charles E.
DAVIES, Charles E.
Male. Education: Graduate study at Oxford University.
Office—Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, Stocker Road, University of Exeter, Exeter, EX4 RND England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, University of Exeter Press, Reed Hall, Streatham Dr., Exeter EX4 4QR, England.
Historian, barrister, and writer. University of Exeter, Exeter, England, honorary research fellow.
(Editor) After the War: Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf, Carden Publications (Chichester, England), 1990.
(Editor) Global Interests in the Arab Gulf, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1992.
The Blood-Red Arab Flag: An Investigation into Qasimi Piracy, 1797-1820, University of Exeter Press (Exeter, England), 1997.
Charles E. Davies is an historian with a special interest in the Middle East. As the editor of After the War: Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf, which was published in 1990 the day after Iraq invaded Kuwait and precipitated the Gulf War, Davies collected essays predicting that Iraqi aggression in the Persian Gulf was a thing of the past. Focusing on the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq that overshadowed much of the previous decade, Davies and his contributors examined the effects of the war on the nations involved and predicted that Iraqi president Saddam Hussein would not likely wish to upset the stability of the Persian Gulf region or alienate its allies in the region and outside. "Their predictions were not unreasonable," remarked a reviewer in the Economist. "They just turned out to be mistaken." A reviewer for Foreign Affairs made a similar comment, adding "there is nevertheless much solid information on the effects of the years of war" on the countries in the region.
Davies's next book, Global Interests in the Arab Gulf, is based on papers presented at a conference on the Persian Gulf that occurred in the weeks before the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Writing in Choice, reviewer P. Clawson noted that "this volume is essential for all students of the history of the Gulf war because it presents the thinking of the best scholars on the eve of the Iraqi invasion."
In The Blood-Red Arab Flag: An Investigation into Qasimi Piracy, 1797-1820 Davies examines a little-known era in Middle Eastern history: the era which preceeded the the establishment of a strong British presence in the Persian Gulf. Beginning in the first decades of the nineteenth century, the ruling Qasimi clan and its followers began raiding ships sailing in the Gulf, often selling stolen property back to its original owners. The British, who were occasionally the victims of these piratical raids, invaded the coastal town of Ras al-Khayma, the emirate of the Qasimi family, as a punishment, using the claim of piracy as an excuse to establish a strong British presence in the Gulf in order to institute safe trading routes through the region.
"Despite the lurid title, this is a serious historical work, sometimes indeed a little too serious to make for easy reading—but it does lead us to a fascinating but almost forgotten area of Middle Eastern history," observed Hugh Kennedy in the Times Literary Supplement. In a review of the book for the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, Eugene Rogan found the author's writing style "archaic" but noted that "there is a great deal of valuable material in this work." Middle Eastern Studies contributor Talal Toufic Farah called the book "a very welcome addition to the increasing literature on the modern history of the Gulf."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies, November, 1999, Eugene Rogan, includes review of The Blood-Red Arab Flag: An Investigation into Qasimi Piracy, 1797-1820, p. 339.
Choice, March, 1993, P. Clawson, review of Global Interests in the Arab Gulf, p. 1236.
Economist, August 18, 1990, review of After the War: Iran, Iraq, and the Arab Gulf, p. 74.
Foreign Affairs, summer, 1991, review of After the War, p. 179.
International History Review, June, 1999, review of The Blood-Red Arab Flag.
Lloyd's List, January 17, 1998, review of The Blood-Red Arab Flag.
Middle Eastern Studies, April, 2000, Talal Toufic Farah, review of The Blood-Red Arab Flag, p. 196.
Times Literary Supplement, September 4, 1998, Hugh Kennedy, review of The Blood-Red Arab Flag, p. 25.*