This book examines the shifting balance of power between two western allies in the tumultuous Middle East. British interest in the Persian Gulf increased significantly during the nineteenth century, since the region functioned geographically as a liaison between the Mediterranean and the Indian subcontinent. Britain’s political domination of the region began in the 1820s, culminating in the Treaty of Maritime Peace of 1853, which created the system of trucial states along the Arabian coast. The treaty secured the political and economic stability of the region, which was vital for the maintenance of Britain’s Indian trade routes. British influence in the Gulf continued uninterrupted up until the period immediately following WWII. The post-war period not only brought about the demise of the old modes of imperialism but also gave way to the rise of new international political actors like the United States and the Soviet Union. The US entered the region as a powerful actor after the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia, and later extended its domination over other regions in the Middle East. W. Taylor Fain’s study focuses on “the Persian Gulf region” and analyzes diplomatic relations between the US and Britain from the 1950s to the 1970s. For Fain, this period of power politics witnessed how the interests of the two Western powers overlapped, and especially how they conflicted. Put more elegantly, “this book underscores the fragility of the vaunted Anglo-American ‘special relationship’ during the Cold War” (11).