Michael Quentin Morton grew up in Qatar, Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the 1950s and '60s. He has written a number of books on the history of the Middle East, including Buraimi: The Struggle for Power, Influence and Oil in Arabia (2013) and Keepers of the Golden Shore: A History of the United Arab Emirates (Reaktion, 2016).
Morton draws the reader in by weaving a well-written tale of tribal intrigue, regional and historic animosities, and big power rivalry. It is a history that on the one hand illustrates the forces that have shaped Qatar and other Gulf states and on the other describes how much the region has and is changing as the result of economic and social development and wealth garnered from oil and gas. Masters of the Pearl constitutes a critical, yet compassionate contribution to an understanding of a small state that manages to punch above its weight and the stormy winds that attracts. -- New Books Network That rare pearl: an accessible book on a Gulf country that also manages to be well-researched. Recommended for students and visitors alike, Quentin Morton's prose reveals a passion for the Qatar of old where he lived the early years of his life. Qatar today is now a regular, international news headline. This book puts that news in context. --Allen Fromherz, author of Qatar: A Modern History