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A History of Saudi Arabia by Madawi al-Rasheed,Madawī Āl-Rašīd,Madawi al- Rasheed 1962-..... Book Summary:
Counter Saudi Arabia is a wealthy and powerful country which wields influence in the West and across the Islamic world. Yet it remains a closed society. Its history in the twentieth century is dominated by the story of state formation. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Ibn Sa'ud fought a long campaign to bring together a disparate people from across the Arabian peninsula. In 1932 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was born. Madawi al-Rasheed traces its extraordinary history from the age of emirates in the nineteenth century, through the 1990 Gulf War, to the present day. She fuses chronology with analysis, personal experience with oral histories, and draws on local and foreign documents to illuminate the social and cultural life of the Saudis. This is a rich and rewarding book which will be invaluable to students, and to all those trying to understand the enigma of Saudi Arabia.-from publisher description at http://catdir.loc.gov/catdir/description/cam022/2001043609.html.
The Creation of Saudi Arabia by Askar H. Al-Enazy Book Summary:
Overturning existing literature on the subject, this book shows the creation of Saudi Arabia as the outcome of implementation of Britain's imperial policy system to achieve specific military and political objectives in the Middle East, within which Ibn Saud and Wahhabism served as most effective policy instruments.
The History of Saudi Arabia by Alexei Vassiliev Book Summary:
How has Saudi Arabia managed to maintain its Arab and Islamic values while at the same time adopting Western technology and a market economy? How have its hereditary leaders, who govern with a mixture of political pragmatism and religious zeal, managed to maintain their power? This comprehensive history of Saudi Arabia from 1745 to the present provides insight into its culture and politi, its powerful oil industry, its relations with its neighbours, and the ongoing influence of the Wahhabi movement. Based on a wealth of Arab, American, British, Western and Eastern European sources, this book will stand as the definitive account of the largest state on the Arabian peninsula. A Choice Outstanding Academic Book 'If you read or own just one book on Saudi Arabia, make sure it is this one' -- Middle East Quarterly 'Combines a wealth of fascinating detail with rigorous and penetrating analysis.' -- Bernard Lewis 'An outstanding book: a study of the Saudi state rich in historical documentation. Comprehensive and measured.' -- Fred Halliday 'It will become required reading for all those interested in the country's shaping and development over the past two centuries.' -- Tim Niblock
Awakening Islam by Stephane Lacroix,George Holoch Book Summary:
With unprecedented access to a closed culture, Lacroix offers an account of Islamism in Saudi Arabia. Tracing the last half-century of the Sahwa, or “Islamic Awakening,” he explains the brand of Islam that gave birth to Osama bin Laden—one that has been exported, and dangerously misunderstood, around the world.
Business and Economic Development in Saudi Arabia by J.W. Wright Jr Book Summary:
Few economies have witnessed such accelerated economic growth as that arising from Saudi Arabia's discovery of oil. These essays introduce the complexities of the cultural, economic and legal issues that determine business practices in Saudi Arabia. Contributions recognize that while economic activity is dominated by the oil industry, it also boasts a diversified commercial environment. The collection combining historical perspective, academic research and practical observation is accessible and timely reading for those wishing to undertake business in Saudi Arabia.
Historiography in Saudi Arabia by Jörg Matthias Determann Book Summary:
Saudi Arabia is generally and justifiably viewed as a country with some of the fewest democratic institutions and the weakest traditions of pluralism. It is therefore surprising to learn that at least in one corner of the Saudi world, there can be found a plurality of opinions and lively debate. Jorg Matthias Determann brings this element to light by analysing an important field of cultural activity in Saudi Arabia: historical writing. Since the 1920s local, tribal, Shi'i and dynastic histories have contributed to a growing plurality of narratives. Paradoxically, this happened because of the expansion of the Saudi state, including state provision of mass education. It was also due to globalizing processes, such as the spread of the internet. In challenging the widely-held perception of Saudi Arabia as an irredeemably closed and monolithic society, Historiography in Saudi Arabia provides a deeper understanding of modern Arab historiography, the Saudi state, and education and scholarship in the Middle East.
History of Saudi Arabia & Wahabism by Anwar Haroon Book Summary:
At present, the world views Muslims as terrorists and Islam a religion of tyranny especially after 9/11. Thereafter, to my surprise the killing of Muslims right in the mosques and public places around the Muslim countries has become every day affair which I never heard in my life earlier. While so many sects like Wahabi, Qadiyani, Bahai, Ahmadi, Parvezi and many others emerged in the course of past two hundred years through the efforts of Britain. The most cruel and dangerous among them is Wahabi sect formed by Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab Najdi of Saudi Arabia, which declared whoever does not follow them among Muslims, taking their lives, property and their wives is permissible. King Abdul Azeez Ibn e Saud formed armed group by name “Ikhwan” who mercilessly killed thousands of Muslims in Najad. They killed even women, children and old at Taif and throw their dead bodies on the hills. They flattened the graves of the family of Holy Prophet and his companions in the grave yards of Makkah and Madinah. I got serious in finding out the cause of this bloody change and I happened to read the book “Tareekh Najad O Hijaz” written in Urdu language. The book also gives the details about Wahabism. So I translated this book in English and named it “History of Saudi Arabia and Wahabism”. The regime of Saudi Arabia is spending billions of dollars to spread Wahabism in Muslim countries as per http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wahhabi_movement Holy Book Quran in the Verse 5:8 says in this regard: "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for God Almighty Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted with all that ye do" May God Almighty Guide Muslims towards Straight Path and Salvation. Amen.
The Formation of Saudi Arabia by Charles River Charles River Editors Book Summary:
*Includes pictures *Includes online resources and a bibliography for further reading At the conclusion of World War I, a once promised unified Arab state, which was to include the modern Hejaz, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Jordan and Iraq, did not materialize. Instead, the territories were divided between the French and British, but the British did reward the Hashemites by putting local leaders on the thrones of Iraq and Jordan. In 1924, when the revolutionary government of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk declared Turkey a secular state and abolished the Caliphate, the Sharif (now King) declared himself Caliph, and it appeared that a new Arab-based Caliphate centered on Mecca would emerge. However, this was also not to be, because the Saudis had reformed their power base in central Arabia. While the First Saudi state had been shattered in 1818 by Muhammad Ali Pasha, in 1824 another branch of the Saudi Clan had captured Riyadh, making it the capital of their more cautious Second Saudi State. Their growth had been slow for some time, but they took advantage of the crumbling Ottoman Empire to consolidate power and in 1925 attacked the Hejaz. With that, the Saudis stormed Mecca and drove out the Hashemite Clan. Like the Hashemites, the Saudi family consisted of Arabs, but the family came from the Nejd, an area of the Arabian Peninsula to the east closer to the Persian Gulf. In the late 18th century, the ambitious Muhammed bin Saud, the head of the family and the Sultan of Nejd, allied himself with a theologian named Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792). Wahhab taught that Islam's weakened position (compared to the rising Christian powers of his era) was due to an internal weakness within the Islamic community. He taught that increasing numbers of Muslims had turned their backs on the teachings of the Prophet and had corrupted Islam with pagan influences. He was particularly scornful of Shi'a Islam or any practices that he did not see directly referenced within the Qur'an, and he sought to "purify" the religion and return it to its "fundamentals." Thus, Wahhabism is a form of fundamentalism that desires a return to the imagined purity of the past and a willingness to undertake dramatic steps to achieve it. As the process of consolidating the new Saudi state was still in progress, the course of Saudi Arabia's history changed with the discovery of oil, and today it is almost impossible to imagine Saudi Arabia without the vital resource. Not only does the country have 18 percent of the world's proven oil reserves and lead the world in exports, but in mid-2016, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that Saudi Arabia had overtaken the U.S. to become the world's largest oil producer. There was, however, a time when the country's finances were anything but stable and when three ministries were the extent of the government's formal institutions. This was not, in fact, so long ago either, as the modern state of Saudi Arabia is still a relatively young country, formally announced only in 1932. At that time, finances were precarious; its major sources of income were Muslim pilgrimage, including the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina; customs and taxes; and international aid and loans. These were also all dependent on the current international situation and the interests of foreign parties. An economic downturn, for example, depressed the number of pilgrims, while shifting interests of international parties could cause support to dry up with little notice. The Formation of Saudi Arabia: The History of the Arabian Peninsula's Unification and the Discovery of Oil traces the formation of the modern Saudi state, beginning with its 18th and 19th century predecessors, as well as the various efforts undertaken by its founders to nation build and secure the Saudi family's position of power.
Ancient South Arabia through History by George Hatke,Ronald Ruzicka Book Summary:
South Arabia, an area encompassing all of today’s Yemen and neighboring regions in Saudi Arabia and Oman, is one of the least-known parts of the Near East. However, it is primarily due to its remoteness, coupled with the difficulty of access, that South Arabia remains under-researched, for this region was, in fact, very important during pre-Islamic times. By virtue of its location at the crossroads of caravan and maritime routes, pre-Islamic South Arabia linked the Near East with Africa and the Mediterranean with India. The region is also unique in that it has a written history extending as far back as the early first millennium BCE—a far longer history, indeed, than any other part of the Arabian Peninsula. The papers collected in this volume make a number of important contributions to the study of the history and languages of ancient South Arabia, as well as the history of the modern study of South Arabia’s past, which will be of interest to scholars and laypeople alike.
The Clerics of Islam by Nabil Mouline Book Summary:
Followers of Muhammad b. ’Abd al-Wahhab, often considered to be Islam’s Martin Luther, shaped the political and religious identity of the Saudi state while also enabling the significant worldwide expansion of Salafist Islam. Studies of the movement he inspired, however, have often been limited by scholars’ insufficient access to key sources within Saudi Arabia. Nabil Mouline was granted rare interviews and admittance to important Saudi archives in preparation for this groundbreaking book, the first in-depth study of the Wahhabi religious movement from its founding to the modern day. Gleaning information from both written and oral sources and employing a multidisciplinary approach that combines history, sociology, and Islamic studies, Mouline presents a new reading of this movement that transcends the usual resort to polemics.
The Arabian Peninsula by Derek Hopwood Book Summary:
Although the Arabian Peninsula is the heartland of Islam and of the Arab world, for decades it did not receive the attention it deserves from scholars and writers. The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and the Middle East Centre of St Antony’s College, Oxford, jointly organized a series of seminars, culminating in a conference at which the papers in this volume (first published in 1972) were discussed. Together they constitute an authoritative statement of our present knowledge of several areas of the Peninsula, with particular emphasis on the Gulf States. Three chapters trace the history of Oman from pre-Islamic times to the recent past, and in so doing emphasize the theme of continuing conflict between sultan and imam. Other chapters examine the Gulf and the Peninsula from the standpoint of inter-Arab and of international relations. The third section of the book is devoted to a discussion of the increasing rate of social change in the area, and the final section deals with problems of oil and state and of economic development.
Oil Powers by Victor McFarland Book Summary:
Since the mid-twentieth century, the United States and Saudi Arabia have built a close but often troubled alliance. In this critical history, Victor McFarland reveals the deep ties binding the leaders of the two nations. Connecting foreign relations and domestic politics, McFarland challenges the view that the U.S.-Saudi alliance is the inevitable consequence of American energy demand and Saudi Arabia’s huge oil reserves. Oil Powers traces the growth of the alliance through a dense web of political, economic, and social connections that bolstered royal and executive power and the national-security state. McFarland shows how U.S. and Saudi elites collaborated to advance their shared interests against rivals at home and abroad. During the 1970s, as higher oil prices enriched the Saudi government, destabilized the American economy, and changed the balance of power in the Middle East, leaders of both countries responded by consolidating their alliance. Facing objections from their own people, Washington and Riyadh chose to shield their partnership from public oversight and accountability. While American support empowered the Saudi royal family and helped the kingdom expand its influence across the Middle East, Saudi elites also encouraged a rightward shift in U.S. foreign and economic policy—with profound long-term effects. Oil Powers reveals the role of the U.S.-Saudi alliance in laying the groundwork for American military involvement in the Middle East and the entrenchment of a global order fueled by oil.
Thicker Than Oil by Rachel Bronson Book Summary:
For fifty-five years, the United States and Saudi Arabia were solid partners. Then came the 9/11 attacks, which sorely tested that relationship. In Thicker than Oil, Rachel Bronson reveals why the partnership became so intimate and how the countries' shared interests sowed the seeds of today's most pressing problem--Islamic radicalism. Drawing on a wide range of archival material, declassified documents, and interviews with leading Saudi and American officials, and including many colorful stories of diplomatic adventures and misadventures, Bronson chronicles a history of close, and always controversial, contacts. She argues that contrary to popular belief the relationship was never simply about "oil for security." Saudi Arabia's geographic location and religiously motivated foreign policy figured prominently in American efforts to defeat "godless communism." From Africa to Afghanistan, Egypt to Nicaragua, the two worked to beat back Soviet expansion. But decisions made for hardheaded Cold War purposes left behind a legacy that today enflames the Middle East. Looking forward, Bronson outlines the challenges confronting the relationship. The Saudi government faces a zealous internal opposition bent on America's and Saudi Arabia's destruction. Yet from the perspective of both countries, the status quo is clearly unsustainable.
A Most Masculine State by Madawi Al-Rasheed Book Summary:
Women in Saudi Arabia are often described as either victims of patriarchal religion and society or successful survivors of discrimination imposed on them by others. Madawi Al-Rasheed's new book goes beyond these conventional tropes to probe the historical, political and religious forces that have, across the years, delayed and thwarted their emancipation. The book demonstrates how, under the patronage of the state and its religious nationalism, women have become hostage to contradictory political projects that on the one hand demand female piety, and on the other hand encourage modernity. Drawing on state documents, media sources and interviews with women from across Saudi society, the book examines the intersection between gender, religion and politics to explain these contradictions and to show that, despite these restraints, vibrant debates on the question of women are opening up as the struggle for recognition and equality finally gets under way.
Modern Woman in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by Hend T. Al-Sudairy Book Summary:
The first book to situate the Saudi woman in a broader cultural context, this text explores a variety of themes, historical developments, and social taboos. It also investigates a wide range of writing by Saudi women, beginning with the first attempt by a woman to write for the public in the middle of the twentieth century up to the peak of the Saudi woman’s literary production in this millennium. It is also concerned with the Saudi woman’s social, economic, and religious contributions, making it possible for the reader to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the reality of Saudi women through studying and connecting the Saudi woman’s past with her present. As such, this book represents a major contribution to the study of women in the Middle East, and offers a unique contrast between fictional presentation and lived experience.
Saudi Arabia by Christopher M. Blanchard Book Summary:
Contents: (1) Recent Developments; (2) Background: Saudi Arabia (SA)-U.S. Relations, 1931-2001; 9/11 and its Aftermath; Recent Assessments; Terrorist Financing; (3) Congress. Interest in SA: U.S. Foreign Assist. to SA and Prohibitions; Counter-terrorism Assist.; BAE Corruption Inquiry; (4) Current Issues in U.S.-SA Relations; Mil. Cooperation: Counterterrorism; Al Qaeda; Combating Extremism; Arab-Israeli Conflict; SA-Palestinian Relations; SA Policy Priorities in Iraq; U.S.-SA Trade; U.S. Oil Imports and SA Policy; SA Boycott of Israel and WTO Membership; Human Rights, Religious Freedom, and Political Reform; Leadership and Succession; Social Reform Debates and Recent Leadership Changes; Human Rights; Religious Freedom.
Saudi Arabia in the Balance by Paul Aarts,Gerd Nonneman Book Summary:
Saudi Arabia in the Balance brings together today’s leading scholars in the field to investigate the domestic, regional, and international affairs of a Kingdom whose policies have so far eluded the outside world. With the passing of King Fahd and the installation of King Abdullah, a contemporary understanding of Saudi Arabia is essential as the Kingdom enters a new era of leadership and particularly when many Saudis themselves are increasingly debating, and actively shaping, the future direction of domestic and foreign affairs. Each of the essays, framed in the aftermath of 9/11 and the 2003 invasion of Iraq, offers a systematic perspective into the country’s political and economic realities as well as the tension between its regional and global roles. Important topics covered include U.S. and Saudi relations; Saudi oil policy; the Islamist threat to the monarchy regime; educational opportunities; the domestic rise of liberal opposition; economic reform; the role of the royal family; and the country's foreign relations in a changing international world. Contributors: Paul Aarts, Madawi Al-Rasheed, Rachel Bronson, Iris Glosemeyer, Steffen Hertog, Yossi Kostiner, Stéphane Lacroix, Giacomo Luciani, Monica Malik, Roel Meijer, Tim Niblock, Gerd Nonneman, Michaela Prokop, Abdulaziz Sager, Guido Steinberg
Desert Kingdom by Toby Craig Jones Book Summary:
This is an environmental and political history of Saudi Arabia, revealing the power of the environment to shape and influence the political state. Jones traces the modernization of the Saudi state and its rich oil reserves that were developed with the help of U.S. expertise and a technocratic elite who managed not only the vast oil reserves and water supplies but also the growth of political institutions. From the time oil was discovered in the 1930s, its control has been at the center of Saudi political authority and of the modern state. In addition the state quickly learned to exploit access to water as a means of controlling the population. Jones demonstrates the power of the Saudi environment to influence its modern political institutions and ideologies over the last eighty years. It is a fascinating story that helps explain not only how the Saudi state was transformed but also how the U.S. was inextricably involved in its technological and political modernization from the beginning.
Saudi Arabia in Transition by Bernard Haykel,Thomas Hegghammer,Stéphane Lacroix Book Summary:
"Making sense of Saudi Arabia is crucially important today. The kingdom's western province contains the heart of Islam, and it is the United States' closest Arab ally and the largest producer of oil in the world. However, the country is undergoing rapid change: its aged leadership is ceding power to a new generation, and its society, dominated by young people, is restive. Saudi Arabia has long remained closed to foreign scholars, with a select few academics allowed into the kingdom over the past decade. This book presents the fruits of their research as well as those of the most prominent Saudi academics in the field. This volume focuses on different sectors of Saudi society and examines how the changes of the past few decades have affected each. It reflects new insights and provides the most up-to-date research on the country's social, cultural, economic and political dynamics"--
Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats by Steffen Hertog Book Summary:
In Princes, Brokers, and Bureaucrats, the most thorough treatment of the political economy of Saudi Arabia to date, Steffen Hertog uncovers an untold history of how the elite rivalries and whims of half a century ago have shaped today's Saudi state and are reflected in its policies. Starting in the late 1990s, Saudi Arabia embarked on an ambitious reform campaign to remedy its long-term economic stagnation. The results have been puzzling for both area specialists and political economists: Saudi institutions have not failed across the board, as theorists of the "rentier state" would predict, nor have they achieved the all-encompassing modernization the regime has touted. Instead, the kingdom has witnessed a bewildering mélange of thorough failures and surprising successes. Hertog argues that it is traits peculiar to the Saudi state that make sense of its uneven capacities. Oil rents since World War II have shaped Saudi state institutions in ways that are far from uniform. Oil money has given regime elites unusual leeway for various institutional experiments in different parts of the state: in some cases creating massive rent-seeking networks deeply interwoven with local society; in others large but passive bureaucracies; in yet others insulated islands of remarkable efficiency. This process has fragmented the Saudi state into an uncoordinated set of vertically divided fiefdoms. Case studies of foreign investment reform, labor market nationalization and WTO accession reveal how this oil-funded apparatus enables swift and successful policy-making in some policy areas, but produces coordination and regulation failures in others.
Saudi Arabia by U. S. Military,Department of Defense (DoD),Joint Special Operations University,United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM),U. S. Government Book Summary:
This work will be of interest to any reader seeking a better understanding of the political and cultural history in Saudi Arabia. There is a current need for Special Operations Forces, specifically to appreciate the historical, domestic, regional, and other influences on the worldview and decision-making of Saudi Arabia's leaders, particularly those issues that have a significant impact on U.S.-Saudi security relationships. His monograph is a fascinating, condensed history of Saudi Arabia, focused on events and decisions that influence the modern political worldview of citizens in that country. For example, a history of tribes being ruled by outsiders; the pros and cons of alliances with the British and (more recently) the U.S., the impact of global geopolitics (e.g. Cold War), and the impact of regional neighbors' policies and events on Saudi Arabia's domestic and foreign policies (to include its relationship with the U.S.). This volume explains the importance of politically shrewd and pragmatic leaders and the ways that Iran's ambitions and policies threaten Saudi Arabia's regional influence, as well as how the historical fracturing of the U.S.-Iran relationship played well for Saudi Arabia. This book also provides a brief overview of Arabia from the early Islamic period to the rise of the first Saudi state in 1744 and then examines the emergence of Wahhabi Islam and First (1744-1818) and Second (1824-1891) Saudi States and the challenges associated with them. He then analyzes the emergence of the Third Saudi State and Saudi Arabia, and the recognition by Ibn Saud of the weaknesses and problems that undermined the previous Saudi States. This leads to the great succession crisis of the 1950s and 1960s when revolutionary Egypt and instability across the region toppled monarchies and threatened traditional regimes. Dr. Barrett highlights contemporary Saudi Arabia from 1975 to 2005 (the year that King Abdullah assumed the throne) and analyzes the reign of King Abdullah and his attempts to rationalize and reform the political, economic, and social life of the nation. This monograph has value to the military and policy world. It is not only a good explanation of the history of Saudi Arabia, but its greatest value is its succinctness in analyzing and presenting the Saudi strategic culture. It should be of interest to strategists, planners, and leaders interested in the region and the relationship with the Kingdom. The monograph concludes with an epilogue addressing King Abdullah's death on 23 January 2015 at age 90, providing context to the transition to King Salman's government and what the line of succession will look like in the future. Chapter 1 - The Arabian Context and Emergence of the Saudi State * Chapter 2 - Ibn Saud and the Founding of Saudi Arabia * Chapter 3 - Transition and Crisis: 1953-1975 * Chapter 4 - Modern Saudi Arabia and the Patronage State * Chapter 5 - The Reign of King Abdullah and the Contemporary Reality This study analyzes Saudi Arabia from the context of its own unique historical, political, economic, and socio-cultural path to a modern patronage state. It also looks toward the coming transformations facing the Kingdom- a generational leadership change, the socio-economic complications of population growth, and the challenges to Gulf security posed by an increasingly unstable region. Saudi Arabia differs fundamentally from the Gulf emirates of Kuwait, Qatar, the UAE, the Sultanate of Oman, and the Kingdom of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is the product of a parallel but very different historical experience. This is the story of three Saudi states, each driven by aggressive expansive policies, a distinct ideology, and each checked in its regional ambitions by the intervention of an outside power whose interests the Saudi state threatened.
Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East by F. Gregory Gause Book Summary:
The United States'' relationship with Saudi Arabia has been one of the cornerstones of U.S. policy in the Middle East for decades. Despite their substantial differences in history, culture, and governance, the two countries have generally agreed on important political and economic issues and have often relied on each other to secure mutual aims. The 1990-91 Gulf War is perhaps the most obvious example, but their ongoing cooperation on maintaining regional stability, moderating the global oil market, and pursuing terrorists should not be downplayed. Yet for all the relationship''s importance, it is increasingly imperiled by mistrust and misunderstanding. One major question is Saudi Arabia''s stability. In this Council Special Report, sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, F. Gregory Gause III first explores the foundations of Riyadh''s present stability and potential sources of future unrest. It is difficult not to notice that Saudi Arabia avoided significant upheaval during the political uprisings that swept the Middle East in 2011, despite sharing many of the social and economic problems of Egypt, Yemen, and Libya. But unlike their counterparts in Cairo, Sanaa, and Tripoli, Riyadh''s leadership was able to maintain order in large part by increasing public spending on housing and salaries, relying on loyal and well-equipped security forces, and utilizing its extensive patronage networks. The divisions within the political opposition also helped the government''s cause. This is not to say that Gause believes that the stability of the House of Saud is assured. He points out that the top heirs to the throne are elderly and the potential for disorderly squabbling may increase as a new generation enters the line of succession. Moreover, the population is growing quickly, and there is little reason to believe that oil will forever be able to buy social tranquility. Perhaps most important, Gause argues, the leadership''s response to the 2011 uprisings did little to forestall future crises; an opportunity for manageable political reform was mostly lost. Turning to the regional situation, Gause finds it no less complex. Saudi Arabia has wielded considerable influence with its neighbors through its vast oil reserves, its quiet financial and political support for allies, and the ideological influence of salafism, the austere interpretation of Islam that is perhaps Riyadh''s most controversial export. For all its wealth and religious influence, however, Saudi Arabia''s recent record has been less than successful. It was unable to counter Iranian influence in post-Saddam Iraq, it could not prevent Hezbollah taking power in Lebanon, and its ongoing efforts to reconcile Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have come to naught. The U.S.-Saudi relationship has, unsurprisingly, been affected by these and other challenges, including Saudi unhappiness with Washington''s decision to distance itself from Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, the lack of progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and Iran. For its part, the United States is unhappy with the Saudi intervention in Bahrain and Saudi support for radical Islamists around the region and the world. The two traditional anchors of the U.S.-Saudi relationship-the Cold War and U.S. operation of Riyadh''s oil fields-are, Gause notes, no longer factors. It is no wonder, he contends, that the relationship is strained when problems are myriad and the old foundations of the informal alliance are gone. It would be far better, Gause argues, to acknowledge that the two countries can no longer expect to act in close concert under such conditions. He recommends that the United States reimagine the relationship as simply transactional, based on cooperation when interests-rather than habit-dictate. Prioritizing those interests will therefore be critical. Rather than pressuring Riyadh for domestic political reform, or asking it to reduce global oil prices, Gause recommends that the United States spend its political capital where it really matters: on maintaining regional security, dismantling terrorist networks, and preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons. There have been few relationships more important to the United States than that with Saudi Arabia, and it is vital that, as it enters a new phase, the expectations and priorities of both countries are clear. In Saudi Arabia in the New Middle East, Gause effectively assesses the challenges and opportunities facing Saudi Arabia and makes a compelling argument for a more modest, businesslike relationship between Washington and Riyadh that better reflects modern realities. As the United States begins reassessing its commitments in the Greater Middle East, this report offers a clear vision for a more limited-but perhaps more appropriate and sustainable-future partnership.
Saudi, Inc. by Ellen R Wald Book Summary:
The Saudi Royal family and Aramco leadership are, and almost always have been, motivated by ambitions of longterm strength and profit. They use Islamic laws, Wahhabi ideology, gender discrimination, and public beheadings to maintain stability and their own power. Underneath the thobes and abayas and behind the religious fanaticism and illiberalism lies a most sophisticated and ruthless enterprise. Today, that enterprise is poised to pull off the biggest IPO in history. Over more than a century, fed by ambition and oil wealth, al Saud has come from nothing to rule as absolute monarchs, a contrast with the world around them and modernity itself. The story starts with Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdul Aziz, a lonely refugee embarking on a daring gambit to reconquer his family’s ancestral home—the mudwalled city of Riyadh. It takes readers almost to present day, when the multinational family business has made al Saud the wealthiest family in the world and on the cusp of a new transformation. Now al Saud and its family business, Aramco, are embarking on their most ambitious move: taking the company public.
English As a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia by Christo Moskovsky,Michelle Picard Book Summary:
English as a Foreign Language in Saudi Arabia: New Insights into Teaching and Learning English offers a detailed discussion of key aspects of teaching and learning English in the Saudi context and offers a comprehensive overview of related research authored or co-authored by Saudi researchers. It provides readers with an understanding of the unique cultural, linguistic, and historical context of English in Saudi Arabia--with a focus on the principal factors that may influence successful teaching and learning of English in this country. Uniquely, the book looks separately at issues pertaining to in-country English learning and learners, and those pertaining to in-country English teaching and teachers. The volume also explores issues concerning Saudi learners and teachers in overseas contexts. Lastly, the book touches on the future of English as a Foreign Language and TESOL in Saudi Arabia and its implications for the field.
Ibn Saud by Barbara Bray,Michael Darlow Book Summary:
Ibn Saud grew to manhood living the harsh traditional life of the desert nomad, a life that had changed little since the days of Abraham. Equipped with immense physical courage, he fought and won, often with weapons and tactics not unlike those employed by the ancient Assyrians, a series of astonishing military victories over a succession of enemies much more powerful than himself. Over the same period, he transformed himself from a minor sheikh into a revered king and elder statesman, courted by world leaders such as Churchill and Roosevelt. A passionate lover of women, Ibn Saud took many wives, had numerous concubines, and fathered almost one hundred children. Yet he remained an unswerving and devout Muslim, described by one who knew him well at the time of his death in 1953 as “probably the greatest Arab since the Prophet Muhammad.” Saudi Arabia, the country Ibn Saud created, is a staunch ally of the West, but it is also the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Saud’s kingdom, as it now stands, has survived the vicissitudes of time and become an invaluable player on the world’s political stage.
Saudi Arabia on the Edge by Thomas W. Lippman Book Summary:
Of all the countries in the world that are vital to the strategic and economic interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia is the least understood by the American people. Saudi Arabia's unique place in Islam makes it indispensable to a constructive relationship between the non-Muslim West and the Muslim world. For all its wealth, the country faces daunting challenges that it lacks the tools to meet: a restless and young population, a new generation of educated women demanding opportunities in a closed society, political stagnation under an octogenarian leadership, religious extremism and intellectual backwardness, social division, chronic unemployment, shortages of food and water, and troublesome neighbors. Today's Saudi people, far better informed than all previous generations, are looking for new political institutions that will enable them to be heard, but these aspirations conflict with the kingdom's strict traditions and with the House of Saud's determination to retain all true power. Meanwhile, the country wishes to remain under the protection of American security but still clings to a system that is antithetical to American values. Basing his work on extensive interviews and field research conducted in the kingdom from 2008 through 2011 under the auspices of the Council on Foreign Relations, Thomas W. Lippman dissects this central Saudi paradox for American readers, including diplomats, policymakers, scholars, and students of foreign policy.
Counter-Narratives by M. Al-Rasheed,R. Vitalis Book Summary:
Saudi Arabia and Yemen are two countries of crucial importance in the Middle East and yet our knowledge about them is highly limited, while typical ways of looking at the histories of these countries have impeded understanding. Counter-Narratives brings together a group of leading scholars of the Middle East using new theoretical and methodological approaches to cross-examine standard stories, whether as told by Westerners or by Saudis and Yemenis, and these are found wanting. The authors assess how grand historical narratives such as those produced by states and colonial powers are currently challenged by multiple historical actors, a process which generates alternative narratives about identity, the state and society.
Traditional Costumes of Saudi Arabia by Soraya Altorki Book Summary:
* A resplendent selection of garments from the many tribes who call Saudi Arabia home* Developed in partnership with the Mansoojat Foundation: a charity dedicated to preserving ethnic textiles and designs* An informative, accessible and beautiful celebration of cultureBorn out of fourteen years of collaboration with the Mansoojat Foundation, this book pays homage to Saudi Arabia's rich textile heritage. From the Labah Sadr of the Bal Harith tribe (a silver necklace decorated with colored glass beads, often recycled from old car lights) to the resplendent jasmine headdresses worn by the Jazan, Traditional Costumes of Saudi Arabia captures the stunning scope of traditional accessories and garb. Bright colors, bold patterns, intricate detail and eye-catching designs - the beauty of Arabian textiles is undeniable. Yet many in the western world do not appreciate the extent to which costume and culture are intertwined. Each headdress, thobe and necklace is an expression of identity, incorporating Islamic, Indian, Indonesian, Malay and Chinese influences that date back to the days of the Silk Road. Preserving costumes that are no longer worn and celebrating those which remain at the heart of communities, this book provides valuable insight into the history of Saudi Arabia through the voices of its oldest inhabitants.
Business and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia by Edward Burton Book Summary:
An investor's crucial guide to the changing face of Saudi Arabian business Business and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia is an essential reference guide, informing investors on the key issues that define how business will be done as the nation's family-owned businesses change hands. Supported by the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council, this book introduces the reader to the new Saudi entrepreneur and explains why Saudi Arabia's boom deserves more of the world's attention. As the heads of family-owned businesses age and corporate boards are reshaped, business practices will be influenced by the ascension of the country's young leaders. Interviews with young Saudi entrepreneurs describe the challenges, triumphs, failed attempts, and successful endeavors they experience every day as time-tested traditional models bump up against more modern, innovative ideas and methods. The book's companion website features a variety of useful tools and documents that help readers implement the concepts presented, and the firsthand information provides deep insight into the future of these companies. Saudi Arabia is profoundly influencing the technological advances of multiple industries through increasing collaboration and in-country partnerships with communities around the world. The evolution of the Kingdom's family-owned businesses is becoming more important to investors as young Saudis claim their legacies, and this book provides an insightful understanding of the changing nature of Saudi business. Meet the emerging entrepreneur class of Saudi Arabia Learn how the Saudi boom affects global business Discover what investors need to know about the Saudi economy Examine how time and technology is reshaping the way business is done Gain useful insight into the direction management of the Kingdom's growth will take over the next five years The Saudi economy constitutes thirty percent of the Arab world's GDP, and sixty percent of the population is under the age of thirty. Business and Entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia provides essential information investors need to navigate the changing tide of doing business in Saudi Arabia.
Black Wave by Kim Ghattas Book Summary:
“[A] sweeping and authoritative history" (The New York Times Book Review), Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy. With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS. Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country’s dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.
Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia by J. E. Peterson Book Summary:
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia now has been under the spotlight of Western curiosity for more than 80 years. More than 15% of the world’s total oil reserves lie underneath Saudi Arabia and, in the early 1990s, the kingdom became the world’s largest crude oil producer. Not surprisingly, a world highly dependent on oil regards the desert kingdom as an area of intense strategic concern, as reflected in the coalition of forces assembled on Saudi soil to oust Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. Also, it played a major role in the invasion of Saddam Husayn’s Iraq in 2003 and shares concern with the West over Iran’s nuclear intentions throughout the 21st century. This third edition of Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia contains a chronology, an introduction, and an extensive bibliography. The dictionary section has over 1,000 cross-referenced entries on important personalities, politics, economy, foreign relations, religion, and culture. This book is an excellent resource for students, researchers, and anyone wanting to know more about Saudi Arabia.