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Britain's man on the spot in Iraq and Afghanistan : government and diplomacy by Sir Henry Dobbs at the apex of empire

Britain's man on the spot in Iraq and Afghanistan : government and diplomacy by Sir Henry Dobbs at the apex of empire / Ann Wilks.
London ; New York, NY : I.B Tauris, 2024.
Copyright Notice Date
Physical Description
xiii, 187 pages : illustrations, maps, portraits ; 25 cm
"A little-know figure now, Sir Henry Dobbs was at the heart of Britain's imperial administrations of Iraq and India in the twilight decades of the Empire. Drawing upon a recently discovered trove of meticulous records and correspondence, in this book Ann Wilks reconstructs the professional life of this career civil servant and Britain's longest serving High Commissioner of Iraq to give a unique picture of life in Britain's most important colony and one of its most newly acquired. The book reveals the nuts and bolts workings of colonial administration, as Dobbs in his letters details the problems Britain encountered as it conquered the former Ottoman province of Mesopotamia during WWI, as well as crises and decisions of singular and lasting significance, such as settling the borders of Imperial India and Afghanistan and establishing those of the future state of Iraq, the first of Britain's colonies or protectorates to become independent, a process which Dobbs oversaw. In his negotiations on the 1921 Anglo-Afghan Treaty, he manoeuvred between the different views in London and Delhi with great dexterity to negotiate alone with the Amir and to arrive at what he considered an acceptable agreement. In the crisis over the 1922 treaty between Britain and Iraq, Dobbs not only disregarded the unhelpful approach recommended by London but risked using his own wholly unauthorised tactics to achieve a breakthrough. The 'man-on-the-spot' perspective offered by Dobbs, written contemporaneously, thus provides a unique source on key international treaties from an insider who was though a man of his time and its prejudices nonetheless an advocate for Iraqi independence, curious about the peoples over whose lives the administration he served ruled, and frequently at odds with attitudes displayed by his famous superiors, such as Sir Percy Cox"-- Provided by publisher.
Other formats
Online version: Wilks, Ann (Writer on history). Britain's man on the spot in Iraq and Afghanistan London ; New York, NY : I.B Tauris, 2023
Added to Catalog
January 23, 2024
Includes bibliographical references (pages 181-184) and index.
Henry Dobbs in the run of his times
Home and away 1871 to 1900
Neighbours, frontiers and tribes 1901 to 1914
Mesopotamia 1915 to 1916
On the edge of India and in Afghanistan 1917 to 1921
Iraq at last 1922 to 1924
Moving towards Independence for Iraq 1924 to 1929.

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