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The Kingdom Audio Cassette – Audiobook, 1 Aug 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks (Aug. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786106433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786106431
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 17 x 6.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Well written, lots of first hand research, this is an objective history of Saudi Arabia, a country with more than it's fair share of social, moral and religous problems. What I like about Mr Lacey's account is it written without too much personal comment or attempts to sway the reader's opinion. In other words, written like history should be written - objective and without too many axes to grind.
I probably knew as much as the average joe about this somewhat inward looking country before reading this book, I was expecting to be somewhat shocked especially about the more extreme forms of Sharia law and the codes of morality laid down by the religous leaders who still have tremendous power and sway in The Kingdom. I was shocked but again the book does not preach, hey, this the way things are! Not a country to be born female or poor or worse - both - in my humble opinion.
If you are like me and have very little knowledge about the social, religious, political and moral make-up of devout Muslim countries but do have the wish to find out more, in an intelligent and forthright manner then I cannot recommend this book highly enough.
Five star reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a marvellous book and gives a vivid description of the formation of Saudi Arabia. The later chapters are now slightly dated but if you want to learn how the country was formed through a sense of force of destiny by the Saud family this is a brilliant place to start - really gripping and unforgettable. Forget all the fake sheiks that park their Lambos outside Claridges - this book explains the courage and sheer willpower of their single antecedent who forged a forgotten backwater into a major country. Brilliant.
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Format: Paperback
At the beginning of Mr. Lacey's monumental work he relates a conversation he had with a Georgetown educated member of the House of Saud: "I have lived in the Kingdom over 30 years, yet if I was to put down on paper how my family and this country worked, I would be lucky if I got a B+ mark. You have spent four years with us. The best you can hope for is a C." Lacey clearly did his homework, as the large bibliography indicates. Moreover, he actually lived in the Kingdom, unlike so many "Saudi experts." And while there, he conducted numerous interviews with key individuals, who entrusted him with versions of historical reality not often seen in other works. He mastered his source materials, and wrote an immensely readable history of the Kingdom until the ascension of King Fahd to the throne in 1982.

A full 40% of the book relates to events prior to the actual proclamation of the Kingdom in 1932. This portion covers the ancient political alliance of the Al-Saud's with the conservative preacher, Abdul Wahab, and his family. Also, Ibrahim Pasha's 1819 destruction of Diriyah, the Saud's home village, for defying the sultan-caliph in Constantinople. But the main thrust of this section is the exile, and return of the Al Saud family in the late 1800's, culminating in the capture of the fort in Riyadh from the Al Rashed clan in January, 1902. Thereafter is a 25 year consolidation of power for the Al Saud's over most of "Al Jazeera," the peninsula. The first significant conflict was at Dilam, when Abdul Aziz only had enough ammunition for one mighty fusillade. After taking Al Hasa in 1913, he made a fateful alliance with the Ikhwan, "the Brotherhood," of fanatical conservatives who were indomitable in battle.
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Format: Hardcover
this book together with its sequel are without a doubt the best introduction to saudi arabia. i have read several books on the kingdom and make frequent trips there and need to understand the place its people and its leaders. i wish i had not wasted time on reading other books, and had just read these two books for a second and third time. great books, a great achievement -well done robert lacey
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book ia Robert Lacey's first book on Saudi Arabia. It is a great read for anyone who is interested to know in details how king Abdulaziz managed to unite most of the Arabian peninsula and how he interacted with the Rashidis, Al-Subah, the Sharif's, Al-Ikhwan, and the British. The book is also great in describing what happened during the reigns of king Saud, Faisal, and Khalid.
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Format: Paperback
If you luv books amazon is just the place for trusted used books
I've got it on time as described with out any problems , recommended it .
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Lacey must have had the patience of Job over this.He delivered Genesis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Interesting and thorough. It needs updating now though as the House of Saud ages and the recent changes in the Middle East need to be addressed.
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