South Yemen has come to be seen as a potential Al-Qaeda stronghold and at the heart of a separatist movement threatening to rip apart southern Arabia. How has this country of forbidding mountains and arid deserts gone from British colony to communist state and then to 'terrorist base' in just half a century? In "Yemen Divided", author and Middle East expert Noel Brehony tells for the first time comprehensive history of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). He explains the power politics that came to form a communist republic a few hundred miles from the holiest site in Islam, and the process and conflicts that led to Yemeni unification in 1990. The impact of PDRY is still felt today as unrest continues to escalate across the south. "Yemen Divided" is an important book for anyone wanting to understand why Yemen, sensitive neighbour of Saudi Arabia and strategically vital to Middle East security, has veered towards massive instability.
Noel Brehony had a career as a diplomat after completing a PhD from Durham and post doctoral research in the Middle East. He was in Aden in the early years of the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and followed events there until unity in 1990. He is a Research Associate at the London Middle East Institute at SOAS and has been chairman of the Middle East Association and the Council for British Research in the Levant and President of the British Society of Middle East Studies. He is currently chairman of the British Yemeni Society.
‘Noel Brehony reconstructs one of the least studied periods of modern Yemen history… and he does so both accurately and persuasively. Within English-language literature on South Yemen this book stands out as the first comprehensive assessment of the history of the country… Yemen Divided is a timely, eloquent account of the history of Marxist South Yemen.'
– Asian Affairs
‘Noel Brehony is a veteran commentator on that oxymoron of a place, known as modern Yemen, and he has produced a work that manages to be comprehensive and critical, but never disdainful.’
Philip Robins, University of Oxford
‘A timely account of an important period in Yemen's modern history.’
Ginny Hill, Chatham House
‘If you want to understand the southern dimension to the various conflicts that currently threaten to turn Yemen into a failed state, you could not find a better guide to the background and underlying issues than Noel Brehony.’
Michael Crawford CMG, International Institute of Strategic Studies, London
‘This is an important read, offering critical insights into the historical legacies and personalities that are currently shaping political instability and growing secessionist demands in the former South Yemen.’
April Longley Alley, Independent Researcher
‘This is a major contribution to the literature on South Arabia’s political history, and an excellent read as well!’
Gerd Nonneman, University of Exeter
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co LtdHardback
Publication Date: 30 Mar 2011
Number of Pages: 288
Publication Date: 28 Feb 2013
Number of Pages: 288