A dense and richly detailed investigation... operates incredibly well on the historical and sociological level for all those interested in this time period, this geographic region, this aspect of international dispute and engagement, and finally, this particular people. is hard to find fault with this book. A work such as this begs for others to utilize it as a foundation for future work .. and it is clearly crucial for international affairs, politics, intelligence, and diplomacy. Summing up: Highly recommended. All readership levels.
CHOICE August 2015, Vol. 52 No.

[An] excellent, brilliantly researched, and highly erudite text. Those who are familiar with the history of Oman and East Africa will rejoice in the minute details that Wilkinson provides, while fans of Wilkinson’s earlier work will see how it fits within the overall intellectual trajectory of one of the great historians of Oman.
The Journal of Arabian Studies

John Wilkinson [is] one of the leading scholars of Oman and the Gulf... Where [this book] parts company with the usual imperial histories of these events is that it gives the Omanis real agency in the process rather than treating them as sort of hapless placeholders waiting for the Europeans to show up and brush them aside. This too is a positive step and will give non-Arab readers a window on Omani maneuvering and motives during this period that would not otherwise be available to them.
International Journal of African Historical Studies

Wilkinson’s work is a compulsory read for anyone who is interested in African/Islamic History or anyone who wishes to have good historical insight into Arab/Omani activities in Africa.
African Historical Review

Overall this is a comprehensive narration of “forgotten histories” of imperialism in Africa and will be indispensable for specialists in the field of nineteenth century East Africa. It is an invaluable companion to classic work on the subject from Abdul Sheriff, Fred Cooper and Jon Glassman.
Journal of World History