Mending a Blemished Image: Company Propaganda, Social Amenities, and Improving Material Conditions

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AUTHOR: KAVEH EHSANI, LEIDEN UNIVERSITY 

 FROM “THE SOCIAL HISTORY OF LABOR IN THE IRANIAN OIL INDUSTRY : THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND THE MAKING OF THE INDUSTRIAL WORKING CLASS (1908-1941)” 

 

APOC suffered from a poor image in the early years of its operations, and this caused problems with recruiting and retaining employees, not to mention with public opinion in Iran and the new political elite in the capital. While Britain had treated Iran as a sphere of influence, and so long as the southern parts of the country had been effectively controlled by British-organized militias like the South Persia Rifles and by local allies like the Bakhtiyari Khans and Sheikh Khaz’al, this poor image had not been of great concern (See chapters 2 & 3). The Company operated under the direct protective umbrella of the Empire, and enjoyed adequate cooperation and support from the Government of India. However, as we saw in the previous sections, the war had put strain on labor supplies, and the pervasive war-induced insecurity and severe hardship in Khuzestan had increased the Company’s logistic difficulties. APOC was Britain’s largest investment abroad, and it was playing a highly public role in wartime. But as a private corporation (even though it was majority owned by the British Government) it had to rely on the labor market for its recruitments. Already in 1910 and 1914 there had been some notable labor clashes in Khuzestan. The first instance occurred when workers reacted to abuse by European foremen; the latter when two workers were killed and the Company refused to compensate the families adequately and to improve safety conditions. In 1914 the Company relied on Skeikh Khaz’al to put down the strike[94]. There were other clashes following workers’ abuse by foremen, or local pastoralists reacting to Company encroachment on their territories. In 1915 several Arab clans cooperated with German agents to sabotage Company pipelines and disrupt oil flows[95]. The Company’s relations with local populations remained highly contentious[96]. In 1920 and 1922 there were two major strikes, this time in the refinery and by skilled workers and artisans, and not out on the fields by unskilled casual laborers. Indian skilled workers went on strike in 1920 over poor working and living conditions, low pay, and persisting complaints against racial discrimination and abuse. Some Iranian workers also joined (see below for further discussion). These labor confrontations, as well as urban clashes such as those that occurred over the forced evictions to clear the way for the construction of modern bazaars in Abadan (1924-1927) and Masjed Soleyman (1925, see chapter 3), rattled the stability of operations and made the Company conclude that these labor and social issues needed to be treated more seriously. As part of the solution APOC moved toward a systematic effort to improve its public image. Even though the Company had a contract for protection by the Bakhtiyari Khans, the latter’s hold on their clans and subsections became increasingly tenuous and the Khans began to be perceived as self serving and their legitimacy began to wane (chapter 3). The Company had dealt exclusively with the Khans, paying them through the Bakhtiyari Oil Company, and leaving the compensation of rank and file Bakhtiyaris to their leaders, being fully aware that they would pocket the payments and lose tribal legitimacy in the process[97]. As we saw in previous chapters, the policy of bypassing the central government and dealing directly with local magnates was an extension of the shifting geopolitics of Britain toward Iran, as well as the local circumstances there. However, as Mahmoud Mamdani has analyzed in his study of colonialsm in Africa, the policy of reinforcing “traditional local rulers” as direct partners against the central governmental authority was part of the well established repertoire of British colonialism implemented across the empire, in India and especially in Africa[98]. Tribesmen regularly targeted company surveyors and geologists while out on the fields because they saw them as agents preparing the ground for military operations against themselves[99]. These were not isolated incidents; rather they demonstrated the hostility that marked the Company’s relations with local people as it impinged on their territory, enclosed their common properties, disrupted their economies and migration patterns, recruited their valuable labor power, and co-opted their Khans.
The Iranian government was equally suspicious of Company intentions. From early on the telegraph reports (1908-1929) by the local representative of the Foreign Ministry (called Kargozar) in Khuzestan, effectively the main central government agents in a practically autonomous province, were replete with complaints, alarms, and expressions of frustration about perceived Company abuses and violations against Iran’s territorial sovereignty, national laws, Iranian workers, its refusal to respect the terms of the Concession by hiring foreigners, and its suspicious dealings and perceived intrigues with local magnates against ‘national interests’[100]. After the 1921 coup d’état and the eventual change in the strategic relation between Britain and Iran (chapter 2), this predominantly negative image became a major obstacle and even a threat to the Company’s successful operation. In response to this predominantly negative perception, during the 1926 re- organization the Company made the improvement of its image a priority. But the effort went beyond mere propaganda and a concerted effort at conducting better public relations; it also involved major investment in improving the social life of its employees as well as the general conditions in the oil areas, in particular Abadan. APOC also began to aggressively and systematically respond to any and all criticisms of its activities, whether by the popular press, by employees, private citizens, or statesmen and politicians. Its tone was belligerent and defensive; its responses were relentless and often abrasive. They revealed a mentality that considered any objections to the Company as malicious and unfounded, and undertaken with morally and politically questionable motives. This defensive inflexibility did not win it many friends, however its major efforts at expanding social services, and its relentless use of propaganda to publicize its efforts and actions did create a more positive image of its accomplishments and operations. As cinema was becoming a major medium of public entertainment as well as propaganda, APOC commissioned a film in 1921 to depict its operations in a positive image. However, the film was only edited in 1938 and finally released under the title “Anglo Iranian Oil Operations in Iran”. Its next venture fared better, and was titled “The Persian Oil Industry; the Story of a Great National Enterprise”, a 98 minute silent documentary made by one J.D. Kelley in 1925. It provided flowing views of the fields, the refinery, pipelines, and the workers’ good lives[101]. Hamid Naficy, in his comprehensive social history of Iranian cinema highlights the close collaboration between APOC and Reza Shah’s central government in the production of cinematic propaganda that would fit and enhance both the image of grand state-sponsored projects, such as the transnational railways, as well as the oil industry. Oil films and railroad films in the interwar years projected an epic image of modernization, partly by juxtaposing these grand industrial ventures against the existing lives of Iranians, and by framing the latter as ‘traditional’, ‘backward’ and trapped in a timeless and repetitive cycle that negated any historical progress[102]. The epic film Grass, made by the Hollywood director Merian Cooper before he made his blockbuster King Kong, was the counterpoint to the APOC film, both of which were made in the same year (1925)[103]. While “The Persian Oil Industry” depicted the epic modernity of the oil complex, Grass exoticized the ‘primordial’ seasonal migration of the Babayari branch of the Bakhtiyaris from Chahar Mahal to Khuzestan, over the nearly 4000m high peak of Zardeh Kouh. Cooper probably exaggerated when he claimed there were 50 thousand people and half a million animals making the grueling seven-week long trek in the snow and over rushing rivers[104]. His spectacular film framed the Bakhtiyari as a people standing outside history, a “timeless people” struggling heroically against nature to eek out an existence against all odds. Both films orientalized the local population as a “people without history” (chapter 1)[105], a theme that had been repeated since the 19th century by a string of British and European travelers, spies, and adventurers[106], and was now accepted as self-evident. Although Grass depicted the Bakhtiyari as noble and heroic savages, nevertheless, the audiences viewing the two films in cinemas in London, Tehran, as well as in Abadan, Masjed Soleyman, and Ahvaz, could not help but wonder at the gulf between the two, and how the spectacular smokestacks of Abadan, its snaking pipelines, the grand jetties and modern tankers, were spearheading the primitive region into the future. The combination of the two films evoked King Kong’s final tragic scene atop the Empire State Building as the mighty beast succumbs to the power of airplanes and machine guns.
Naficy notes that APOC established its first public film-screening program in Abadan in 1926, and projected its film in Abadan before it built a film theater in London[107]. This implies that some of the likely film audience in Abadan included Bakhtiyari workers who were witnessing their own reification in this cinematic juxtaposition of tradition versus modernity. In Europe the APOC film was released under a different title, “In the Land of the Shah”, and was viewed by a million people in theaters, and copies of it were sold in 9.5mm format for home consumption[108]. The film was released to coincide with Reza Shah’s coronation, and the changed title was to highlight the new monarch’s role, rather than make the film appear as corporate propaganda.
Cinematic propaganda was not the only venue where the Oil Company tried to improve relations with the Government. The Company prepared special guest quarters in Abadan and the fields and began to host all official and influential visitors, including journalists and writers, with organized tours and lavish hospitality[109]. Sometimes the public relations efforts were embarrassingly sycophantic, such as the large monument of Reza Shah, designed and built by the Company architect J.M.Wilson, and installed in Ahvaz in 1930[110]. A year later on the anniversary of the coronation the monument was officially unveiled by the Provincial Governor in Naseri Square in the presence of 200 invited guests and 2,000 soldiers standing guard. Company Manager E. Elkington made a public speech, emphasizing that the bronze statue’s base was made of local stone from Khuzestan, and dedicated the bust to Reza Shah’s first visit to Khuzestan as a monarch[111]. Overall, the effort was made to present to the public as well as to policymakers a consistently clean, modern, and progressive image of the Company, and to emphasize its modernizing effect on the people and landscape of Khuzestan and Iran.
Cinematic propaganda suited the government and the Oil Company alike. Both followed calculated scripts with instrumental agendas. John Taylor, a director hired by AIOC (Anglo Iranian Oil Company, as APOC had been renamed after 1935) to make the first propaganda sound film Dawn of Iran (1937) recalled later that he was given a list of subjects by the Iranian government that he was forbidden to film, including camel caravans and carpet weaving, because they would depict Iran as primitive. The film crew was assigned a police officer that accompanied them across the country as they filmed, and checked every shot through the camera before allowing them to proceed[112]. However, the rosy and modernist propaganda films were not universally accepted. In 1927 the newspaper Ettela’at published a harsh critique of the original APOC film by someone named Khouzestani who wrote, “ In Tehran they show you the beautiful films of the oil operations in the south. Of course they tell of the enormity of the Company’s buildings and facilities and of the importance of the oil pipelines, and naturally you and your journalist colleagues enjoy them and perhaps think this Company is serving and benefiting Iran. But have these films ever shown the wretched lives of those lowly Iranian workers who for three Qrans a day toil in highly dangerous conditions and in really heart wrenching manner? Have these films ever shown you the manner in which in the southern oil regions a group of Indian workers are made superior to, and rule over, Iranian workers in their own homeland? Have these films ever shown you the dictatorial manner in which the [British] managers govern your fellow citizens and push and shove them around and stifle those who raise the slightest complaint?”[113]

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Cinema as entertainment, an effective social venue, and a powerful propaganda tool was incorporated into the 1926 reorganization of APOC. A proposal was made by Company directors to circulate and screen films in different locations across Khuzestan based similar to the military and the YMCA[114] model. The Company had already set up a “Neilson Cinema” and a Staff Club earlier, but now it proposed to replace the obsolete projectors and improve the screenings[115]. New projectors cost £50 each, but the Chairman John Cadman enthusiastically sanctioned their purchase and took personal responsibility for seeing to their delivery and to ensuring the regular supply of films. It was proposed to establish a cinema at the Fields Central Hall in Masjed Soleyman and to organize either daily performances or regular visits by the permanent projectionist from Abadan. Initially only senior staff would have had access to film viewing in the Fields, but soon cinema was to become a general form of entertainment[116].
The scope of the Company’s efforts at improving its image went well beyond cinema. It also involved publishing a regular journal with glossy graphics, along with regular newsletters. Establishing a wireless (radio) station proved to be probably the most effective way of improving moral. The Company also began to systematically plan the building of social clubs and libraries, organizing sports teams and orchestras, and building entertainment halls and gymnasiums. It proposed to open a restaurant. It was felt that the current 4-member orchestra of Indian musicians were “incompetent”, so Cadman suggested hiring musicians from Rumania or Poland instead. All these amenities were intended for Europeans. A few were made available to senior Indians; none yet to the ordinary workers and Iranians, although Cadman suggested that the Company should make an effort “to get Persians more involved”[117]. [Iranian] Armenians already had built a club and now “Persian Clerks” were asking for one of their own. Cadman strongly supported the idea[118]. However, when Iranian workers tried to organize their own athletic club in 1928, and obtained a permit from the Cultural Office of the Provincial Government, they were shut down by the police with the urging of the Company, because they feared the club would be used for trade union organization and become an autonomous place for the propagation of subversive political ideas against the Company[119]. The Company magazine that began publication was initially called APOC, and later renamed Naft (Oil) and contained up to date news, photos, and articles in English. It was intended to forge an “imagined community” among all those working for the Company, across its widespread geography. The magazine provided news and photographs about Company activities in Khuzestan as well as London or Basra. Senior staff reminisced about the early days of their “pioneering endeavors”[120]. There were reports and news about the “ladies” activities, sports events, scientific advances, official visits, etc. Later on there appeared photo essays about housing accommodations and married couple’s bungalows. Regular news of sporting events and competitions were published. The magazine created ties between scientists, engineers, managers, technicians, administrators, and workers; it relived somewhat the suffocating sense of isolation, while offering potential job applicants a glossy picture of a vibrant and pleasant working and living environment. The wireless (radio) however, seemed to have been highly prized: “Recent scientific improvements in wireless have indeed proved a boon and blessing to the men working some 160 miles from any civilization, and one can imagine the feeling of hundreds of young men from home, many from our universities and public schools, listening to the Savoy band playing the latest dance music.”[121]

The organized sports activities and social clubs were among the most important policies affecting employee morale. They were meant to create a spirit of teamwork, discipline, and competitiveness; and to reinforce a sense of identity and belonging[122]. However, much like organized sports and social activities in highly class segregated and class conscious Britain and its colonies, these social activities were almost completely organized around rigid racial, national, and status lines. In Masjed Soleyman there were four social clubs by 1926, “extensively used especially in the summer”. Saturday afternoons had been dedicated for athletic activities and clubs. Clerks had their own clubs, including, “Two good clubs for Indians, and one more humble type for Armenians”. It seems there were some Iranians who had gained membership to the Indian clubs, and were now asking discreetly to form their own. “Every effort was being made to encourage sports among them…unfortunately they show no interest in games, but this might be developed later…[their desire to form a club] is good to bear in mind for purposes of effect in Tehran and on Persians generally”.
There was no official policy requiring employees to seek membership in clubs, but there was peer pressure to join. Newcomers were given an application upon arrival, but the “40 or 50” who had not joined stood out as awkward exceptions. What was interesting in Masjed Soleyman was the aversion to introducing open class distinctions within social clubs, at least among the Europeans. Reporting on the popular Gymkhana Club, the Fields’ Manager stated, “it is desirable that it should not develop into a private club, as this would introduce class divisions, which at present are non-existent in Fields”[123]. However, this egalitarianism among the Europeans in the dangerous and rugged “Fields” did not last, and all social clubs were eventually segregated as a way of keeping races separate, and enforcing rank consciousness among employees.
The Company’s proposed libraries created some tension. A discussion had started with the McKenzie Bookshop in Baghdad to establish a bookstore and library in Abadan and the Fields, and also to manage the club library at Abadan. However, as soon as subscription rates of 1 Rupee/month had been imposed the membership in the fields had dropped from 250 to 100. In addition, racial segregation became a point of tension as a certain Mr. Armstrong, presumably in charge of the library, denied Indian clerks who had asked to be allowed access because “I feel this might prevent some Europeans from using the library”. He went on to suggest, “…A separate, smaller library may be established for the Indians, and supplied by used and discarded books from the main library”[124].
Improving the image of the Oil Company among the public in Iran and abroad, the prospective job applicants from Europe, and the Iranian government, was a centerpiece of the Company’s post war reorganization. APOC hired a professional “Welfare Officer… to organize social activities of clerks, artisans as well as Europeans”[125], making this probably one of the earlier instances of a multi national corporation establishing a specialist public relations office to shape and improve a corporate brand. The Company also tried to create a strong internal corporate culture and to strengthen employee loyalty to the Company by establishing social facilities and launching a set of organized social activities and entertainment programs intended to alleviate boredom and the sense of isolation, while improving productivity, competitiveness, cohesion, and a desire for upward mobility. However, these efforts also revealed an ingrained institutional racism within the corporate culture of APOC, a feature that was an integral attribute of its colonial links. This was by no means unique to APOC or to British overseas businesses, as Vitalis’ study of SoCal/Aramco has shown in the case of American oil companies in Saudi Arabia[126]. The fallout from this institutional racism would later come to haunt APOC and cause continuous friction with its employees, the local population, and the state bureaucracy. It was a contributing factor in stirring the so called ‘resource nationalism’ in Iran, or of the nationalist political sentiments formed around several demands: First, the demand for greater national sovereignty over natural resources by increasing royalties or even wresting ownership; second, for the equal treatment of Iranian nationals working for the oil complex; and third, for increasing tangibly the control exerted by Iranian nationals over technical and managerial operations. As a result, ‘resource nationalism’ and calls for greater ‘Iranianization’ of the oil industry became one of the major bones of contention between successive Iranian administrations and multinational concerns that controlled the oil complex; first APOC/AIOC until 1953; followed by the Consortium of multinational oil corporations until 1973 when the oil industry was formally nationalized (with multinationals kept on as “consultants”); and eventually the 1979 revolution when all foreign national corporations were expelled from the Iranian oil industry[127]. APOC’s decision to improve its corporate image would not have carried much credibility if it were not accompanied by a meaningful commitment to improving living and working conditions. Initially these efforts were targeted exclusively to benefit European employees, along with skilled workers, artisans, and technicians. The latter categories included Indians, as well as some Iranians (including Iranian Armenians). The masses of casual and unskilled workers were completely excluded from these improvements (until after WW2 in the 1940s). However, as class frictions mounted successive layers of subaltern workers and residents of oil cities succeeded in wresting concessions from the Oil Company and the Iranian government to extend the circle of these social benefits and municipal amenities. This expansion of social services was gradual and highly uneven. Thus, the provision of a number of sanitary and public health improvements, such as safe drinking water, the building of latrines and a sewerage system, access to Company hospital and public health facilities, etc. initially began as services for the permanent employees within Company enclaves, although Company hospitals and dispensaries did treat the indigenous population in separate wards. However, once the process had started, the extension of these social and municipal services to a wider urban public became increasingly unavoidable due to public pressure and for practical reasons (see next chapter). Likewise, the support and subsidizing of formal schools and technical education began as exclusively Company affairs, but were soon extended to the larger urban public (see next section). By mid 1920s APOC had made some progress toward improving its hitherto abysmal image. In this rebranding the Company was aided by politicians and senior soldiers who used scientific venues such as the Royal Central Asian Society to extol the virtues of the Company and wrap it in a patriotic veneer. Sir Harry Brittain, a
conservative MP, told his audience that he had just returned from a 35,000 mile pilgrimage of the British Empire which had included a visit to Khuzestan: “This is not only the finest oilfield that I have seen, but it is absolutely beyond all praise from the point of view of organization…some people [talk about] the decadence of the British Empire, [I would] suggest that if they want a tonic they should get out to Southern Persia, and see what Englishmen and Scotts in cooperation can do together… [People at APOC] work, and work hard. But I do not think it is right to say that they have nothing else to do and no relaxation. When I arrived at Christmas day there was a very first-class race meeting…in this appalling looking region. I found in my tour round this district everything in the way of tennis, polo, athletics, even a regatta on the miserable little pond you saw by the first pumping station… [In this venture] the British Government has got one of the finest investments it ever made.”[128]

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To these remarks Admiral Richmond added “[APOC] must not be looked upon as a purely business proposition. It is of the greatest national importance…not only as giving work at home, but from the point of view of imperial defense it is a matter upon which too much importance cannot be laid”. He went on to emphasize “the great care that was taken in Abadan by the Company to look after all its employees…every effort is made by the Company to make their people comfortable in every way. It is a beastly place in itself. But everything done is truly on a lavish scale showing that the Company have the interests of their employees at heart and are not afraid to spend money on making them comfortable (Applause)”. Anthony Eden, another conservative MP and parliamentary secretary to Austen Chamberlain at the time, highlighted the Company’s hospitals as a great public relations factor with the local people, and because of it “the Company is not only a great business enterprise, but a great humanitarian agency in Southwestern Persia (Hear, hear)”. Eden continued to extol the great sense of national pride generated by the scale of APOC and the great economic benefit it was generating through “a very large measure of employment to be given directly and indirectly, through manufacture of appliances and stores of every kind, to tens of thousands of British workmen”.[129] It will be recalled that this was the year 1926, with unemployment and labor strife reaching a boiling point in postwar Britain, that would explode in the general strike three months after this lecture was delivered (Chapter 4). These presentations wrapped the oil venture in Iran in the flag of patriotic pride and the grandeur of industry and empire, all at the same time. They presented APOC as a grand humanitarian venture, and a great contributor to the British economy and its working class suffering from unemployment and poverty. They framed Khuzestan as an abysmal place, which was being rescued by the civilizing mission undertaken by APOC. This combination of a sense of moral mission and material opportunity framed Khuzestan as a great place to work and to live comfortably. The Chairman of the event, Sir Michael O’Dwyer, the former Lieutenant governor of Punjab (19121919) who had presided over the Amritsar massacre in 1919 before being relieved of duty, concluded the proceedings by framing Abadan as a tourist destination for “Gentlemen from Baghdad, when they want a weekend holiday, go to Maidan-i Naftun [Masjed Soleyman]. When they go there they find excellent shows going on, races where they can back a winner…and in fact the amenities of civilization in such abundance that in a year or two Maidan-i Naftun will draw people like Algiers or Egypt. We are all proud of this great outpost of civilization in the East”[130].
By mid 1920s APOC was hard at work rebranding its corporate public image and the perceptions of the living and working conditions in Khuzestan. Corporate propaganda associating large industrial and commercial companies with patriotic and humanitarian accomplishments had become an integral part of strategic planning by large businesses during WWI (chapter 4). But after the war the advent of Fordism, the rise of multi national corporations, intensifying mass politics, labor radicalism, and nationalist and revolutionary fervor, further consolidated this trend. APOC badly needed this boost in public image to improve its recruitment drives, and to reduce and ward off criticism. To get this boost it relied on the magic of the seventh art, cinema; it mobilized politicians, military veterans, journalists, geographers, and technical professionals to praise its accomplishments in respected scientific settings closely associated with the Empire; it published a glossy magazine, and set up a public relations office to refute any and all criticism, disseminate information, and shpae public opinion in its favor.
However, without some real commitment to improving the abysmal working and living conditions in Khuzestan it is unlikely that any of this extensive propaganda and rebranding would have produced the desired results. Consequently, aside from technical and managerial changes in the workplace, and the acceleration of its international marketing and explorations, what came to define APOC’s post-war restructuring was its newfound reluctant paternalism, as it found itself obligated to commit to dealing and engaging with ‘the social question’ in Khuzestan’s oil complex.

 

Notes :
94. Floor, Labor and Industry in Iran, 1850-1941, 54.

95. George Lenckowski, “Foreign Powers’ Intervention in Iran during World War One,” in Qajar Iran, ed. C. Hilenbradt (Edinburgh, 1983), 81–85.

96. Atabaki, “From ‘Amaleh (Labor) to Kargar (Worker).”

97. A.W.Wilson, “Confidential: Bakhtiyari relations and land purchases” 24 February 1926; “Notes on conference held at Tehran”, 22 April 1926, BP 71183

98.Mahmood Mamdani, Citizen and Subject: Contemporary Africa and the Legacy of Late Colonialism, (6th printing) (Princeton University Press, 1996).

99. BP 68779, “From Busk to Gillespie, Ahwaz”, 16 January 1915.

100. These telegraph reports are an un-numbered file available at the Iran National Archives (INA). The originals, which I have studied, were perishable thin telegraphic papers that had not been filed yet. The INA at my request typed the content into a 29-page document, and provided me with a copy in 2006. The reports contain the serial numbers of each telegraph and the date. INA, “Official Telegraphic Correspondence Regarding Labor Relations and Other Issues Concerning the Anglo Iranian Oil
Company’s Operations in the Province of Khuzestan (1908-1937)” (Iran National Archives, 19081937).

101. Hamid Naficy, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1: The Artisanal Era, 1897–1941 (Durham: Duke University Press, 2011), 183; Mona Damluji, “The Oil City in Focus: The Cinematic Spaces of Abadan in the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company’s Persian Story,” Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East 33, no. 1 (April 25, 2013): 75–88.

102. On the framing of ‘tradition’ in modernization projects see Naficy, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1; Kaveh Ehsani, “Tabar Shenasi-e Tarh-ha-ye Bozorg-e Tose’eh dar Iran-e Mo’aser (Genealogy of large scale development projects in contemporary Iran),” Goftogu, no. 54 (2009): 113– 32; Home, Of Planting and Planning; Mitchell, Rule of Expert.

103. Merian C Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack, Grass: A Nation’s Battle for Life (Milestone Collection, 2000).

104. Cooper, Grass.

105. Eric Wolf, Europe and People Without History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982).

106. Austen Henry Layard, Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and Babylonia, Including a Residence among the Bakhtiyari and Other Wild Tribes Before the Discovery of Nineveh (London: J. Murray, 1887); Elizabeth Ness MacBean Ross, James Ness MacBean Ross, A Lady Doctor in Bakhtiyari Land (London: L. Parsons, 1921); George Nathaniel Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, 2 vols. (London: Elibron, 2005 [1892]); Arnold T Wilson, “The Bakhtiyaris,” Journal of Royal Asiatic Society 13, no. 3 (1926): 205–223; Vita Sackville-West, Twelve Days in Persia: Across the Mountains with the Bakhtiyari Tribe (London: Tauris Parke, 2009 [1928]).

107. Naficy, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1, 186.

108. Ibid., 183.

109. Jalal Al-e Ahmad, “Gozareshi Az Khouzestan,” in Karname-Ye Seh Saleh, 3rd ed. (Tehran: Ravaq, 1978), 66–94. Khalil Maleki, “Asarati keh do Mosaferat Yeki beh Landan va Digari beh Abadan dar Khatereh Man Baqi Gozasht”, Nameh Mardom, no.70, vol.4, 13 April 1247

110. “Monument at Ahwaz to the Shah”, 19 May 1930, BP 68848

111. “Bust of H.I.M. unveiled”, Naft, 7:3 (May 1931): 5-6.

112. Naficy, A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 1, 184.

113. Quoted in Ibid., 183–184.

114. Young Men’s Christian Association

115. “Item 21, Social Activities”, p.77-79, 18 March 1926, BP 71183.

116. BP 71183, “Field Matters; Meeting at Abadan on 18 March 1926”; “Minutes and agenda of meetings held at Ahwaz and the Fields during Sir John Cadman’s visit to Persia 1926”, 2 April 1926.

117. BP 71183, “Field Matters; Meeting at Abadan on 18 March 1926”.

118. BP 71183, 2 April 1926.

119. Yusof Eftekhari, Khaterat-e Dowran-e Separi Shodeh, ed. Kaveh Bayat and Majid Tafreshi (Tehran: Ferdows Publishers, 1991), 35, 126–129.

120. Scott, “The First Survey of the Persian Oil Fields”; Thomson, “Abadan in Its Early Days.”. See BP 71183, “Item 27: APOC magazine and publicity”, 22 March 1926, p.86

121. Cooper, “A Visit to the Anglo Persian Oilfields,” 154.

122. Andrei Markovits, “The Other ‘American Exceptionalism’: Why is there no Soccer in the United States?” Praxis International, no. 2 (1988): 125–50; Christian Bromberger, “Football as World-View and as Ritual.,” French Cultural Studies 6 (1995): 293–311.

123. “Dossier 12: Social Services Department” 2 April 1926, BP 71183

124. “Item 21; Social Activities”, 18 March 1926; “Item 5; Conference at Fields Manager’s Office” 2 April 1926; “Dossier 12; Social Services Department- Fields” 2 April 1926”, BP 71183

125. “Item 21”, p.79, 18 March 1926, BP 71183

126. Robert Vitalis, America’s Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier, 2nd ed. (London: Verso, 2009).

127. Mohammad ʻAli Movahed, Naft-e Ma va Masaʾel-e Hoquqi-e An (Our Oil and Its Legal Issues) (Tehran: Kharazmi, 1978); Peyman Jafari, “Reasons to Revolt: Iranian Oil Workers in the 1970s,”
International Labor and Working Class History 84, no. 1 (2013): 195–217; Maral Jefroudi, “Revisiting ‘the Long Night’ of Iranian Workers: Labor Activism in the Iranian Oil Industry in the 1960s,”
International Labor and Working Class History 84 (Fall 2013): 176–94; Mostafa Elm, Oil, Power, and Principle (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1992); Valerie Marcel, Oil Titans (London: Chattam House, 2006); Peter Nore and Terisa Turner, eds., Oil and Class Struggle (New York: Zed Books, 1980). On the issue of resource nationalism in the comparable case of Venezuela see Tinker Salas, The Enduring Legacy; Bernard Mommer, Global Oil and the Nation State (Oxford University Press, USA, 2002); Fernando Coronil, The Magical State: Nature, Money, and Modernity in Venezuela (Chicago: University Of Chicago Press, 1997).

128. Cooper, “A Visit to the Anglo Persian Oilfields.”

129. Ibid.

130. Ibid., 161.

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