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Overview

The U.S. State Department Central Files are the definitive source of American diplomatic reporting on political, military, social, and economic developments throughout the world in the 20th century. Concentrating exclusively on those Central Files that have not been microfilmed by the National Archives or other publishers, UPA's microfilm editions of the Central Files nonetheless dwarf the State Department's very selective volumes of the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS). Containing less than one percent of the material in the Central Files, FRUS focuses on U.S. relations with individual countries but does not include coverage of many of the key topics to which the majority of the original files are devoted. Each part of the Central Files contains a wide range of materials from U.S. diplomats in foreign countries: special reports on political and military affairs; studies and statistics on socioeconomic matters; interviews and minutes of meetings with foreign government officials; court proceedings and other legal documents; full texts of important letters, instructions, and cables sent and received by U.S. diplomatic personnel; voluminous reports and translations from foreign journals and newspapers; and countless translations of high-level foreign government documents. The Persian Gulf states (Kuwait, Muscat and Oman, Qatar, and the Trucial Sheikdoms) and Yemen represent an area Britain had long considered vital as a route between India and Egypt. These Central Files document the controversial British presence in the Gulf region during the 1950s and focus on other historic issues. These issues include: petroleum wealth in Kuwait, Iraqi interest in Kuwait, civil strife in Muscat and Oman, and Arab nationalism in Yemen.

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