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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 is Honorary President of the Institute for African Studies at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). He is the author of over forty books, including the critically acclaimed The History of Saudi Arabia, winner of the Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, Central Asia: Political and Economic Challenges in the Post-Soviet Era, and King Faisal of Saudi Arabia: Personality. Faith and Times. The recipient of many awards, he is also Editor-in-chief of Asia and Africa Today, and has been the primary editor of about 50 monographs, including the two-volume Encyclopedia of Africa. His works have been translated into over 14 languages. He is a member of the International Security Section of the Security Council of the Russian Federation and of the Foreign Policy Council of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
'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.'
'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.'