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Twilight in the Desert: The Coming Saudi Oil Shock and the World Economy
Matthew R. Simmons
047173876X
June 10, 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Investment banker Simmons offers a detailed description of the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the U.S and our long-standing dependence upon Saudi oil. With a field-by-field assessment of its key oilfields, he highlights many discrepancies between Saudi Arabia's actual production potential and its seemingly extravagant resource claims. Parts 1 and 2 of the book offer background and context for understanding the technical discussion of Saudi oil fields and the world's energy supplies. Parts 3 and 4 contain analysis of Saudi Arabia's oil and gas industry based on the technical papers published by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Simmons suggests that when Saudi Arabia and other Middle East producers can no longer meet the world's enormous demand, world leaders and energy specialists must be prepared for the...


Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia, Vol. 1
Jean Sasson
0967673747
March 2001
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
In this consistently gripping work, a Literary Guild alternate selection in cloth, the American-born Sasson recounts the life story of a Saudi princess she met while living in Saudi Arabia, offering a glimpse of the appalling conditions endured by even privileged women in the Middle East. Photos. Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

From Library Journal
One must keep in mind the context of time and place when reading this emotional and exciting book to alleviate some of the horror of the injustices endured by the women described here. Equality of men and women has not worked out in any society, but the status of women in Islam is more problematic in that canon law is applied according to the...


Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia
Carmen Bin Ladin
0446694886
June 2005
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Addicted to the "I-married-the-Mob" genre? Try this variation: smart women who marry Islamic fundamentalists. In 1973, Swiss-born Carmen fell in love with Yeslam bin Ladin, Osama's older brother; after a fairy-tale courtship, including a semester together at USC, the two married in Saudi Arabia. Alas, it wasn't long before the fantasy turned sinister. By Saudi Wahhabi custom, women are usually confined to the home. Activities like listening to music or reading books other than the Koran are either sinful or shameful. Only Carmen's young daughters, occasional international trips and her dear, understanding husband helped her cope. Then, things worsened. The 1979 Saudi mobilization to support Afghan Muslims against the Soviet invasion gave religious hard-liners like Osama more clout. Carmen's husband, now a...


Inside the Kingdom: My Life in Saudi Arabia
Carmen Bin Ladin
0641702361

Hardcover
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Seven Pillars of Wisdom
T. E. Lawrence
0385418957
June 1991
Paperback
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Book Review
This is the exciting and highly literate story of the real Lawrence of Arabia, as written by Lawrence himself, who helped unify Arab factions against the occupying Turkish army, circa World War I. Lawrence has a novelist's eye for detail, a poet's command of the language, an adventurer's heart, a soldier's great story, and his memory and intellect are at least as good as all those. Lawrence describes the famous guerrilla raids, and train bombings you know from the movie, but also tells of the Arab people and politics with great penetration. Moreover, he is witty, always aware of the ethical tightrope that the English walked in the Middle East and always willing to include himself in his own withering insight.

Book Description
The monumental work that assured T.E. Lawrence's place...


Muhammad : His Life Based on the Earliest Sources
Martin Lings
0892811706
October 1, 1987
Paperback
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Review
Joseph Gardner, California State Univ. Lib., Northridge 
Library Journal
: "Lings provides a wealth of detail on the life of Muhammad, the time and place of many Koranic revelations, and the foundation of Islam, all based exclusively on 8th- and  9th-century Arabic biographical sources and collections of the sayings attributed to Muhammad. General readers will find a well-written, straightforward chronological narrative; Muslim readers will appreciate the favorable treatment of Muhammad; while specialists will find a faithful and convenient rendering of source material." 


The Islamic Quarterly
'This is easily the best biography of the Prophet in the English language.' Dr. Victor Danner (Indiana University) 'An enthralling story that...


State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
James Risen
0743270665
January 2006
Hardcover
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Book Review
The winter holidays are usually a quiet time for news, but the December 2005 revelations of the Bush administration's extensive, off-the-books domestic spying program by New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau made headline after headline, raising criticism from both sides of the aisle and an immediate, unapologetic response from President Bush himself. On the heels of those scoops comes Risen's State of War, which goes beyond his Times stories to provide a wide-ranging, if anecdotal, "secret history" of U.S. intelligence following 9/11.

Risen's description of what he says was called "the Program"--the ongoing eavesdropping operation, done with almost no judicial or congressional oversight, on the phone calls and emails of hundreds of Americans (and potentially millions more)--is only...



Sleeping with the Devil
Robert Baer
1400052688
May 2004
Paperback
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Book Review
According to Robert Baer, the center of the global economy is a "kingdom built on thievery, one that nurtures terrorism, destroys any possibility of a middle class based on property rights, and promotes slavery and prostitution." This kingdom also sits on one quarter of the world's oil reserves, thus ensuring that it receives the full support and protection of the U.S. government. Sleeping With the Devil details the hypocritical and corrupt relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and the potentially calamitous economic consequences of maintaining this Faustian bargain. As Baer makes clear, the U.S. has been aware of problems within the bitterly divided Al Sa'ud family for years, but has ignored the facts in order to keep lucrative business deals afloat. (The amount of money the royal family spends to influence...


Thicker Than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia
Rachel Bronson
0195167430
March 2006
Hardcover
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From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
Eight sheep and 42 courtiers followed King Abdul Aziz ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia aboard the USS Quincy, afloat in the Red Sea in February 1945, to meet President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The war in Europe was ending, and the oil age had arrived. On his way home from the Yalta summit with Stalin and Churchill, Roosevelt met the Saudi king to secure landing rights in Arabia so he could rush war materiel to the Asian front. More farsightedly, he also wanted to construct a postwar alliance based on oil production and a shared antipathy to Soviet communism. What happened aboard the Quincy during those several wintry days would define the terms -- and the misunderstandings -- at the heart of America's partnership with Saudi Arabia for more than five decades, until Sept. 11,...


Saudi Arabia Exposed: Inside a Kingdom in Crisis
John R. Bradley
1403964335
June 2005
Hardcover
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From Publishers Weekly
An Arabic-speaking Westerner who seized a rare opportunity to travel freely throughout Saudi Arabia, Bradley offers a dense, abstract study that reads more like the "culture and history" section of a guidebook than a juicy, insider account. But Bradley did get access to high-profile Saudis, most memorably to Osama bin Laden's nephew, with whom Bradley went on a picnic. An accomplished journalist and scholar who prefers facts to sensory-let alone salacious-details, Bradley successfully compiles research, information, geographical data and flat-footed descriptions of observed events to explain the political dynamics and historical roots of a strong authoritarian state, characterized particularly by the close relation between the Al-Saud ruling family and the conservative Wahhabis. He conveys a sense of a country...


Princess Sultana's Circle, Vol. 3
Jean P. Sasson
0967673763
May 2002
Paperback
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USA Today
"Must reading for anyone interested in human rights..." --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist
Sasson and Saudi Princess Sultana follow their earlier accounts of social oppression of women in Arabia with one that focuses on the Saudi royal family and how, despite its wealth and relative freedom from social conventions, its men continue to oppress women. Specific instances include the forced marriage of a young niece to a brutal older man and a cousin's harem of sex slaves. The royal women react with varying degrees of acceptance; an occasional, minor rebellion; and alcohol and drug abuse. Although Sultana's husband is a more enlightened man, she reveals that even she has a drinking problem, brought on by the stress of helplessly witnessing inequities....


The Osama bin Laden I Know : An Oral History of al Qaeda's Leader
Peter Bergen
0743278917
January 3, 2006
Hardcover
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The Washington Post, January 22, 2006
"A detailed, well-researched narrative that persuasively answers dozens of questions that are still painfully relevant today."

Book Description
The Osama bin Laden I Know is an unprecedented oral history of Osama bin Laden's rise to revered leader of al Qaeda.Peter Bergen takes the reader onto the battlefields of Afghanistan as bin Laden goes from a shy, quiet teen to a leader; he brings you into Osama's intimate family life as he lives under the radar in Sudan, then Afghanistan; he puts you right in the room for al Qaeda's very first meeting; and he uses eyewitness accounts to relate what bin Laden said, and thought on 9/11 as he watched the twin towers fall.Derived from Bergen's interviews with more than 50...


Lawrence of Arabia
Malcolm Brown
0500512388
Oct 2005
Hardcover
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From Booklist
Lawrence was a Welsh-born British soldier, adventurer, and writer who led the Arab revolt against the Turks (1916-18) and later wrote an account of his adventures in the classic Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Brown chronicles Lawrence's life from his early years in North Wales and Oxford to his travels in the Middle East and his military career, which the author documents in detail. Spicing the text are excerpts from letters and from Seven Pillars. (Charlotte Shaw, the wife of playwright George Bernard Shaw, was Lawrence's most constant and intimate correspondent in his later years.) Brown posits that fame after death was inevitable for Lawrence and the ripples of that posthumous fame have been widening ever since, with historians now quoting Lawrence as an authority with relevant things to say about the...


Bin Laden
Yossef Bodansky
0761535810
Sept 2001
Paperback
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Book Review
Shortly after terrorists led by Osama bin Laden attacked the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered retaliatory missile strikes against targets in Afghanistan and Sudan. It was the first time the United States had responded to an individual terrorist with such overwhelming military force. Bin Laden, of course, is no run-of-the-mill rabble-rouser; Clinton called him "perhaps the preeminent organizer and financier of international terrorism in the world today." That's quite a label for someone who, as biographer Yossef Bodansky describes, "lives with his four wives and some fifteen children in a small cave in eastern Afghanistan" without running water. Yet he is "a principal player in a tangled and sinister web of terrorism-sponsoring states, intelligence chieftains, and master...


House of Bush, House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties
Craig Unger
0743253396
October 2004
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
The perilous ramifications of the September 11 attacks on the United States are only now beginning to unfold. They will undoubtedly be felt for generations to come. This is one of many sad conclusions readers will draw from Craig Unger's exceptional book House of Bush House of Saud: The Secret Relationship Between the World's Two Most Powerful Dynasties. As Unger claims in this incisive study, the seeds for the "Age of Terrorism" and September 11 were planted nearly 30 years ago in what, at the time, appeared to be savvy business transactions that subsequently translated into political currency and the union between the Saudi royal family and the extended political family of George H. W. Bush. On the surface, the claim may appear to be politically driven, but as Unger (a respected investigative journalist and editor)...


Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Secret Saudi-U.S. Connection
Gerald L. Posner
1400062918
May 17, 2005
Hardcover
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From The Washington Post's Book World/washingtonpost.com
The dust jacket of Gerald Posner's Secrets of the Kingdom calls it an "explosive study" of Saudi Arabia. In 14 of its 15 chapters that's not true, but in chapter 10 it is -- literally.There Posner reports that Saudi Arabia has wired all of its major oil facilities with interlocking Semtex explosive charges that can be detonated from a single control point. Moreover, he says, the Saudis have blended radioactive materials into the Semtex so that detonation would not only destroy the facilities but also contaminate them beyond repair.Why would the Saudis set off what's essentially a networked dirty bomb over their oil infrastructure? Because, according to Posner, they want to make certain that nobody could benefit from invading their country or taking down the ruling House of...


State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration
James Risen
074355549X
January 2006
Compact Disc
·
 
Book Review
The winter holidays are usually a quiet time for news, but the December 2005 revelations of the Bush administration's extensive, off-the-books domestic spying program by New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau made headline after headline, raising criticism from both sides of the aisle and an immediate, unapologetic response from President Bush himself. On the heels of those scoops comes Risen's State of War, which goes beyond his Times stories to provide a wide-ranging, if anecdotal, "secret history" of U.S. intelligence following 9/11.

Risen's description of what he says was called "the Program"--the ongoing eavesdropping operation, done with almost no judicial or congressional oversight, on the phone calls and emails of hundreds of Americans (and potentially millions more)--is only...



Hatred's Kingdom
Dore Gold
0895260611
July 2004
Paperback
·
 
Book Review
In the global search for culprits and causes in the rise of terrorism, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations Dore Gold shines a spotlight on a nation many think of as a close ally of the United States: Saudi Arabia. As he explains in Hatred’s Kingdom: How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, Gold believes that the Saudi government is greatly influenced by the Islamist sect known as Wahhabism and, he explains, that influence has lead to Saudi support of terrorism in the Middle East, Europe, the United States and around the world. The historical portion of Gold’s argument, where he traces the emergence of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab and the changing face of Saudi leadership, is admirably extensive and detailed. His modern research is a little more uneven, relying on statements by various Muslim...


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Understanding Saudi Arabia
Colin Wells
1592571131
Nov 2003
Paperback
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Max Rodenbeck, The New York Review of Books, October 21, 2004
Colin Wells's concise, informative, and intelligent book is an excellent starting point for those who know little about the kingdom.

Book Description
Some call it a friend to the U.S.; others a foe. Now get the facts on this complex and crucial nation.

A detailed and comprehensive overview of this complex Middle Eastern country, this book covers Arabia's early history, the rise of the House of Saud, the discovery of Saudi oil, Islamic fundamentalism, day-to-day-life, and the country's connection to 9/11, as well as the country's future.

See all Editorial Reviews


A History of Saudi Arabia
Madawi al-Rasheed
0521644127
July 11, 2002
Paperback
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Review
'Madawi al-Rasheed's critical reinterpretation of Saudi Arabian history is not only timely, it is provocative. It is informed by both excellent scholarship and a familiarity with the subject that comes from knowing it from the inside. Both sympathizers with and critics of the country will find their stereotypes of the Saudi reality challenged.' F. Gregory Gause, III, University of Vermont
'Madawi Al-Rasheed's book, just hot from the printing press, is most welcome because it contributes to the fulfilment of the critical need for scholarly works on Saudi Arabia. ... This book is eminently readable, well researched and, in important parts, original. Al-Rasheed's points are argued cogently and her interpretation of Saudi history, which challenges conventional wisdom with new perspectives, will keep the reader's mind continually...


Princess Sultana's Daughters
Jean Sasson
0967673755
March 2001
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Sasson's sequel to Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil is another page-turner related by "Princess Sultana." A member of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, Sultana now is married to a progressive prince, but this privileged status does not protect her or her two daughters from the country's repressive laws against women. Though a devout Muslim, Sultana believes the entrenched male power structure has perverted religious doctrine to justify veiling women and depriving them of basic civil liberties. The lack of opportunity to forge equal relationships with men before and after marriage, Sultana argues, is why one of her daughters became fanatically religious and the other suffered a mental breakdown. This eye-opening account is limited to life among the royals rather than a critique of Saudi Arabian...

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