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Starred Review. Lacey (The Kingdom) delves into the paradoxes in Saudi society—where women are forbidden to drive but are more likely to attend universities than men—and why this nation yielded most of the terrorist team on September 11, Osama bin Laden and one of the largest group of foreign fighters sent to Guantánamo from Afghanistan. Lacey's conversational tone and anecdotal approach to storytelling and analysis gives us a vivid portrait of personal and political life in Saudi Arabia's public and personal spheres, the traditions that govern everyday life, the country's journey from relative liberalism on the tide of extreme oil wealth in the 1980s to a resurgence of traditionalism. Lacey shows us a land where the governing dynasty gives rehabilitated Guantánamo returnees an $18,000 stipend toward their marriage dowry, and 15 young girls died in a schoolhouse fire in 2002 because they were not properly veiled, and religious police forbade them to escape and prevented firefighters from entering the burning building. Lacey's eye for sweeping trends and the telling detail combined with the depth, breadth and evenhandedness of his research makes for an indispensable guide. (Oct.)
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"This is high drama and an epic tale. Dazzling---on every level." ---Tom Brokaw --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.See all Editorial Reviews
A great read. robert Lacey continues to provide excellent reading material from a perspective that provides the reader with the best possible experience.Published 2 months ago by CZiegler
I picked up this book to try and learn as much as I could about Saudi Arabian history and current affairs, as I’m currently living in Bahrain. Read morePublished 4 months ago by K. Moody
Good summary for someone without basic knowledge of the subject. Sequence of events at the end is useful. Names get a bit confusing at points. Read morePublished 4 months ago by BOYACA
A great book that explains how the House of Saud is intimately involved in much of the intrigue of the Mideast.Published 5 months ago by Robert Kieltyka
Excellent and comprehensive coverage of everything going on in Saudi Arabia politically, socially, and economically. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Big Johnson
Which I like most is that shows various point of view,in spite of had been written by a british. Certainly R. Layce is a serious historian.Published 6 months ago by life