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The ruler who transformed Saudi Arabia into a global power
"In the past 30 years, many books have appeared on Saudi Arabia, some informative and some laden with disinformation. In the process, much has been written about King Faysal, who can arguably be said to have brought modernization to the Saudi state his father founded. It is therefore heartening to read a work that takes his story a step further by giving the reader a scholarly yet readable account of his lifelong dedication to public service. The author is to be congratulated."--David Long, author of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
"Kechichian's masterful account of the life of Saudi Arabia's King Faysal is a welcome addition to the literature. In contrast to many recent books on Saudi Arabia, Faysal stands in terms of its objectivity and professionalism. This highly engaging book provides a unique perspective on the origins of modern Saudi Arabia. The wisdom embodied in this carefully researched study will make it the standard for years to come."--Robert Looney, author of Economic Development in Saudi Arabia
King Faysal (1906-1975) ruled Saudi Arabia from 1964 until his assassination eleven years later. By that point his legacy as one of the most instrumental actors in the development of the modern Middle East had been assured.
Faysal bin Abdul 'Aziz Al Sa'ud had first served as a key diplomat and foreign minister for Saudi Arabia when he was prince and heir apparent. Always a keen decision-maker, he established important relationships not only in the region but also with European nations and the United States. By the time he ascended to the throne, Faysal understood how dependent many nations were on his country's oil, an understanding that led to the oil embargo of 1973 and the solidification of Saudi Arabia's leadership, wealth, and power.
In Faysal, Joseph Kechichian offers the first biography of the ruler in decades, and the first to make use of interviews and key archival and declassified documents. Utilizing the same writing style that has earned accolades from The Economist and other publications, Kechichian offers a balanced assessment of Faysal and his impact. Any understanding of the ties between Saudi Arabia and the West is incomplete without this book.
Joseph A. Kechichian is CEO of the consulting partnership Kechichian & Associates, which provides analysis on the Persian Gulf region.