After the oil discoveries of the early 1930s, Bahrain rapidly became an oil exporting country with a relatively high income per capita. More recently Bahrain has succeeded in diversifying its oil dominated economy by developing regional banking and other services, and a variety of light and heavy industries. Various circumstances have combined to make Bahrain a leader among the Arab Gulf States in the transformation of traditional Arabic tribal societies into modern social and economic structures. This book, first published in 1985, in exploring the past, present and possible futures of Bahrain and the Gulf, attempts to describe the nature of this transformation. It estimates to what extent Bahrain has merely an outward appearance of modernity, and explores the conflicts between the compelling power of modern values and the pervasive traditional religions. Bahrain is not typical of the Arab countries of the Gulf; it may, however, serve as a gauge of their current position and likely future. It will therefore be valuable to those interested in gaining more insight into the history and politics of the Middle East during this period of rapid change.