The Saudi Enigma: A History

Voorkant
Zed Books, 2005 - 257 pagina's

Saudi Arabia is a major piece on the world geopolitical chessboard. Despite the suspicion that has enveloped the country since September 11, 2001, Saudi Arabia remains the key US ally in the Arab Middle East, a role secured by its continuing position as the world's largest oil exporter and its ever growing influence in the Muslim world. Yet the country is still very poorly understood. Western observers have rarely been able to penetrate this closed society and its opaque political system. Clichés about the role of oil wealth and fundamentalist Wahhabi Islam often serve to further mask the reality. The true complexity of Saudi society cannot be reduced to a mixture of poorly assimilated modernity and medieval Bedouin tradition.

This volume illustrates the emerging autonomous - and Islamic - manifestations of Saudi national identity, fiercely reformist rather than medieval, complex and varied rather than merely a justification or support for the rule of the al-Saud royal family. Underlying Menorett's account is a sophisticated economic history of the Saudi state, from the eighteenth century to the present day, which details all the alliances and manoeuvres that have brought the country and its rulers to their current precarious position.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Gebruikersrecensie  - waleed - LibraryThing

The author is a personal friend of mine. He spent one year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia mingling with the locals to get a direct feel of the Saudi society. Through his friendships he discovered a society ... Volledige review lezen

Inhoudsopgave

Osama bin Laden and Saudi Arabia
5
The island of the Arabs
15
What is Wahhabism?
43
Genesis and structure of the modern state 19021973
71
Bellicose Islamism? 19732003
102
From the era of opulence to the age of need
133
An ambiguous social modernization
153
The appearance of women
173
The Gulf War generation
189
Conclusion
208
from the Riyadh Spring to reform from
215
Chronology
222
Notes
228
Select bibliography
246
Copyright

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Over de auteur (2005)

Pascal Ménoret, researcher and Arabist, developed a deep understanding of Saudi society during an extensive period in Riyadh, beginning a few days after September 11, 2001. He is
the author of several publications in French on Saudi politics and society.
Pascal Ménoret, researcher and Arabist, developed a deep understanding of Saudi society during an extensive period in Riyadh, beginning a few days after September 11, 2001. He is
the author of several publications in French on Saudi politics and society.

Bibliografische gegevens