A new history of post-WWII Middle East told through the rise and fall of five royal houses.
Long before Saddam, Khomeini and bin Laden brought terror and extremism to the region the Near East was the birthplace of monarchy and empire. As the Second World War came to a close and the Cold War proxy battles began, five monarchies in the region were on the brink. Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Greece (an overlooked, yet integral player in the region during this era) each with their own ruling kings and queens held close to their crowns even as the world around them changed.
In The Five Crowns, Andrew Scott Cooper offers a history of the region that involves, rather than excludes, the royal families that held power. This is, in essence, a Game of Thrones times five––a descriptive, anecdotal narrative of a twilight world propelled forward by glamorous, outsize personalities, kings and queens, princes and princesses, prime ministers and priests, generals and spies, revolutionaries and traitors, the ones who fought to the death to win and keep power. As the battle between communism and liberalism encroached on the monarchial states, the royal houses of the East tried everything in their power to hold onto their status quo, from secret alliances to treaties to marriages, to devastating betrayals. Yet, by the end of the 21st century only one family would remain.
Drawing on a breadth of new research and documents Cooper reconstructs the last days of monarchy in the Near East.
About the Author
Andrew Scott Cooper is the author of The Oil Kings: How the U.S., Iran and Saudi Arabia Changed the Balance of Power in the Middle East, and an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University. He is a regular commentator on US-Iran relations and the oil markets, and his research has appeared in many news outlets including the New York Times and The Guardian. He holds a PhD in the history of US-Iran relations and lives in Brussels, Belgium.