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 politics, 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.
About the Author
Alexei Vassiliev was the Middle East correspondent for Pravda for ten years. He is Director of the Institute for African Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is editor of Central Asia: Political and Economic Challenges in the Post-Soviet Era, also published by Saqi Books.
'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.'
'It will become required reading for all those interested in the country's shaping and development over the past two centuries.'