With the disappearance and apparent death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi leading the news this week, Saudi Arabia has been in the hot seat.
Here are five recent books that are essential for understanding the Saudis, one of the wealthiest and most mysterious nations on the globe:
(Where possible, we have also tried to include an interview or shorter piece by the author that introduces the book’s central ideas…)
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[easyazon_link identifier=”B002N83H66″ locale=”US” tag=”douloschristo-20″]Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia[/easyazon_link]
“It’s all here-Islam, the family tree, a sea of oil and money to match, palace intrigue…This is high drama and an epic tale.”
Though Saudi Arabia sits on one of the richest oil deposits in the world, it also produced fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. In this immensely important book, journalist Robert Lacey draws on years of access to every circle of Saudi society giving readers the fullest portrait yet of a land straddling the worlds of medievalism and modernity. Moving from the bloody seizure of Mecca’s Grand Mosque in 1979, through the Persian Gulf War, to the delicate U.S.-Saudi relations in a post 9/11 world, Inside the Kingdom brings recent history to vivid life and offers a powerful story of a country learning how not to be at war with itself.