This book, first published in 1979, was the first political and social history of Qatar. Its main thrust is to provide the reader with a description and identification of the processes and forces that have contributed to change and continuity in Qatari society. A concise and relevant history of the country from the latter part of the eighteenth century when the Utub settled Zubarah to the present day is provided. Emphasis is placed not only on Qatar’s internal development, but also on its critical relationship with Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, its closest neighbours, and with Britain. The study then proceeds to determine the inner logic of the Qatari political and social structure, and how it has evolved over the years. It is shown how the same society that exhibited great fortitude in the face of economic and political hardship could have an equally great capacity to adapt to new levels of prosperity.