South Yemen was long a key spot in the strategic geography of the West. Before the Second World War, it was important for the British as an outpost on the way to India. From the mid-1940s it was a crucial gateway to the oil rich Arabian Peninsular and a vital area in the context of superpower rivalry. This book, first published in 1984, traces the development of nationalist sentiment in South Yemen and the emergence of the two main groups in the struggle for independence: the NLF and FLOSY. Analysing both the impact of these groups on Yemeni society and demonstrating how they struggled with each other for supremacy, the book provides an perceptive account of how the revolutionary process in an Arab country unfolded.

Part 1. Early Nationalist Movements: Crisis and Political Activity After the Second World War  1. The Making of Conflicts  2. Initial Political Organisations  Part 2. The Early Stages of the NLF, 1963-65  3. Origins and Early Organisation  4. The Framework of the Struggle: the British and the Federation vs. the NLF  5. The Fighting: Tactics, Organisation and Achievements  6. Political Standpoint and Achievements  Part 3. South Yemeni Society and the Struggle: the Socio-Political Divisions  7. Federal Leaders Split  8. The Infrastructure of Support: Groups Affected by the Struggle  Part 4. The Rise and Fall of the FLOSY  9. Towards a Merger: Al-Asnaj’s Activity  10. NLF Changes: the Emergence of a New Leadership  11. The Political and Social Arena: the NLF and the FLOSY in Early Fighting Stages  Part 5. The Period of Decision  12. The Federal Government Towards Collapse  13. Dividing the Spoils: the Struggle for Power  14. In the Shadow of Independence: the Struggle Over Government