Friday, October 19, 2018

Five books to better understand Saudi Arabia

Ian Black was the Guardian's Middle East editor, European editor, diplomatic editor and foreign leader writer in 36 years on the paper. He is now a visiting senior fellow at the Middle East Centre, LSE. His latest book is Enemies and Neighbors: Arabs and Jews in Palestine and Israel, 1917-2017.

At the Guardian, Black tagged five books to understand Saudi Arabia, including:
For the background to the heavily spun narrative of modernisation under the thirtysomething MBS [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman], a highly readable account is provided by Robert Lacey’s Inside the Kingdom (2009). Lacey wrote an earlier book describing the transformation of a pastoral and nomadic society – when traditional Bedouin raids were what Sir John Glubb called “a cross between Arthurian chivalry and county cricket” – into one when the soaring price of oil was producing unimaginable wealth. Lacey revisited it in the long shadow of 9/11, Osama bin Laden and the souring of the special relationship with what political scientist Robert Vitalis dubbed “America’s Kingdom”.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue