More than forty years on the throne have given King Hussein and the Hashemite Kingdom an aura of security, stability and permanence. In the face of numerous enemies and adversaries, Hussein's resilience has remained constant.
From Abdullah to Hussein examines the most turbulent period in the history of Jordan's ruling house, the six years following the assassination of the kingdom's founder, Abdullah, in 1951. Those years witnessed the country's lone episode of weak monarchy, when the king - the novice Hussein or his ill-starred father, Talal - was not the preeminent political actor in the land. Rather, it was during that time that the regime was left in the hands of a mix of Palestinian, Transjordanian, and Circassian royalists who had never before wielded executive authority inside the kingdom.
Based on exclusive interviews, including two sessions with King Hussein, and newly released archival resources from the United States, Britain, Israel and Jordan, the book traces the only two royal successions in Jordanian history: the eleven-month reign of the little-known Talal, and the early years of King Hussein. Throughout, it chronicles the relationship between King and "King's men" that saw Jordan pull itself back from the brink of political disaster and permitted young Hussein to restore a ruling coalition of King, Government and Army that has remained the foundation of the regime ever since.
The first scholarly examination of the transition from Abdullah to Talal to King Hussein, this book takes an in-depth look at domestic politics inside Jordan, including the kingdom's early efforts at multi-party elections. It will be of great interest to historians, scholars, and students of the modern Arab world.
"Robert B. Satloff's book documents a fascinating formative period in Jordanian history, the six tumultuous years following King Abdullah's assassination in 1951...anyone interested in Jordan will find this book very valuable, full of fascinating detail of a critical era in the country's history."--American Historical Review
"A finely-detailed history of royal rule in Jordan from the death of King Abdullah in 1951 through the brief reign of King Talal, to the emergence of King Hussein in full command following the crisis in 1957."--Middle East Journal
"Excellent....A fine account of these years."--Foreign Affairs
"An extremely readable book on the politics of succession and consolidation during the state of Jordan's most turbulent decade. The breadth of sources consulted, and the carefully crafted judgements of the author together with some succinct insights help to make this work arguably the best book yet to be published on the Hashemite kingdom."--International Affairs
"A highly interesting account of the politics of a neglected portion of Jordan's past."--Journal of Palestine Studies
"...A well conceived and analytical study which will be of interest to scholars of modern Middle Eastern history and the more general field of decision-making elites in emerging states."--Middle Eastern Studies Association Bulletin