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5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing insight into the Kingdom, 19 May 2013
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This review is from: Inside the Kingdom (Kindle Edition)
Lacey uses a perfect blend of storytelling and fact-giving to create an informative and rather gripping account of Saudi socio-political history. That's the long and short of it. If you've ever been even mildly interested in Middle Eastern politics or Islamic terrorism (which you should be), this book will shed a lot of light on the murky issue. Lacey charts the creation of terrorists like Bin Laden in an easily accessible form; he makes it quite clear how the move to religious fundamentalism coupled with US and Saudi funding of the mujahideen contributed heavily to the terrorist movement.

What is perhaps more interesting is the power play between the House of Saud and the religious sheikhs (ulema). King Abdullah's push for reforms certainly makes a western audience support his cause but Lacey forms a good question with his last chapters. Would we support a dictator who wants westernising reform or a democracy that would undoubtably be radical and religious? Are we supporters of democracy or rather western ideals? The case of King Abdullah (exemplified in his intervention of a rape victim being punished) makes the latter seem to take precedent over the former.

If this brief account has piqued your interest, do read the book!
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4.7 out of 5 stars (34 customer reviews)
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