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Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection Paperback – January 1, 2005

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Diane Pub Co (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142239204X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1422392041
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,037,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Praise for Why America Slept: The Failure to Prevent 9/11

“Smart and evocatively written . . . a narrative that takes on the frenetic pace of a spy thriller.”
–The New York Times Book Review

“A godsend . . . Posner has done an amazing job . . . laying out a complicated situation through dramatic narrative.”
–St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“An explosive scoop . . . No question, 9/11 could and should have been prevented.”
–Austin American-Statesman

“Riveting and disquieting.”
–The New York Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Gerald Posner is the chief investigative reporter for the Daily Beast and the author of ten bestselling books, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Case Closed; Motown: Music, Money, Sex, and Power; Mengele: The Complete Story; and Secrets of the Kingdom: The Inside Story of the Saudi-U.S. Connection. His investigative articles have appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, Newsweek, and Time, and have included such scoops as Pete Rose's gambling addiction, Argentina's hidden Nazi files, secrets about the Oklahoma City bombing, and questions over the death of Princess Diana. He is married to author Trisha Posner. Winner of several AudioFile Earphones Awards and a multiple finalist for the APA's prestigious Audie Award, Alan Sklar has narrated over 150 audiobooks, including Black Hawk Down by Mark Bowden, The Kennedys: America's Emerald Kings by Thomas Maier, and The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright. Named a Best Voice of 2009 by AudioFile magazine, his work has earned him a Booklist Editors' Choice Award (twice), a Publishers Weekly Listen-Up Award, and Audiobook of the Year by ForeWord magazine. The Dartmouth graduate's theatre credits include Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew, The Seagull, and many modern roles. Alan has also narrated thousands of corporate videos for clients such as NASA,Sikorsky Aircraft, IBM, Dannon, Pfizer, AT&T, and SONY. For several years, he has been the spokesman for TracFone Wireless Co. and can often be seen and heard on TracFone radio and TV spots and infomercials."I am so pleased, as is my husband, to have found a narrator that holds our attention so well that we have come to compare every other narrator to him (you). So far we have found none with such a talent as yours. We very much plan to listen to as many of your works as we can find." ---Sandi King, a letter to Mr. Sklar
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John Martin of ABC News says "Gerald Posner is one of the most resourceful investigators I have encountered in thirty years of journalism." Garry Wills calls Posner "a superb investigative reporter," while the Los Angeles Times dubs him "a classic-style investigative journalist." "His work is painstakingly honest journalism" concluded The Washington Post. The New York Times lauded his "exhaustive research techniques" and The Boston Globe determined Posner is "an investigative journalist whose work is marked by his thorough and meticulous research." "A resourceful investigator and skillful writer," says The Dallas Morning News.

Posner was one of the youngest attorneys (23) ever hired by the Wall Street law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. A Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1975), he was an Honors Graduate of Hastings Law School (1978), where he served as the Associate Executive Editor for the Law Review. Of counsel to the law firm he founded, Posner and Ferrara, he is now a full time journalist and author.

He is the Chief Investigative Reporter for the Daily Beast (www.thedailybeast/author/gerald-posner). In the past, he was a freelance writer on investigative issues for several news magazines, and a regular contributor to NBC, the History Channel, CNN, FOX News, CBS, and MSNBC. A member of the National Advisory Board of the National Writers Union, Posner is also a member of the Authors Guild, PEN, The Committee to Protect Journalists, and Phi Beta Kappa. He lives in Miami Beach with his wife, author, Trisha Posner, who works on all his projects (www.trishaposner.com).

Customer Reviews

Overall - a very informative and alarming book.
Loyd E. Eskildson
Most disturbing are the names Posner provides of prominent Americans who have profited and continue to profit from supporting Saudi interests in the US.
Craig Matteson
Each of the chapters seems to me to be a half proved argument, there is just something a little flimsy about the sources by journalistic standards.
M. Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gerald Posner is a fine reporter who takes on issues from which others flee. Because he reports without an agenda, those who have a vested interest in a certain point of view (whether emotional or monetary) attack him in all kinds of ways. When you examine the criticisms you will see that they all fail. For example, a New York Times review of this book tries the old canard that most of what is here has been reported before. Right. So, the average reader is supposed to look up thousands of news articles and hundreds of books to get a handle on what Mr. Posner provides for us here so concisely and clearly in about 225 pages (including end notes)?

That review also admitted that Posner was breaking new ground in his reporting of the Saudi ruling powers' plan for destroying their oil wells if their power is ever challenged. When you read this book I am sure the chapter on the Petro SE (scorched earth) report will be fascinating and disturbing. While no one knows if the intelligence intercepted is real or false information the Saudi's wanted believed, it has crucial implications for the world economy if such a loss of oil production capacity were to occur.

The bottom line is that unless you are an expert on Saudi politics you do not know what is in this book and it is in your interest to know this stuff. So, I believe you will want to get a hold of this book and read it.

The title refers not to tabloid sensationalism but to the fact that the rulers of Saudi Arabia are extremely closed and operate in secrecy as opaque as their money, power, and influence can provide. Their public statements and the actions they take are for managing their image and have little to do with what they say and do behind the scenes.
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26 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Hallstatt Prince on May 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This may be one of the most important books of the year as it points out not only the bargain with the devil we make when we ally ourselves morally bankrupt countries but the larger problem of our dependence on oil and the continuing missteps we make in trying to secure that resource.
I see Posner's book as balanced and carefully researched. In my opinion as a journalist he does not seem betray any liberal or conservative bias.
Saudi Arabia was somewhat of a backwater as well as a country whose survival was in question until oil was discovered there by Americans in the 1930s.
Posner gives us background of life in Saudi Arabia before the days of oil. The picture is not a pretty one. It was a society both intolerant and brutal.
But when oil was discovered the US, originally through Aramco, a dance began with this peculiar culture.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia long has a history of being anti Jewish and later anti-Israel.
The US has been trying to perform a balancing act for decades between its support for Israel and while trying to maintain a good relationship with Saudi Arabia. In the meantime the Saudis have been waging an ideological war in both funding the Wahabis in their own country and funding projects in our own universities.
Posner points out how we have and continue to defer to the Saudis time and again.
This brings us to 9-11-01 and these post 9-11 days.
Posner exposes members of the House of Saud that had, and may still have, direct connections to al-Qaeda. He also account chilling plans the ruling family has to detonate their own oil fields with radiological devices in the event they are overthrown.
The authors does a wonderful job showing how the interests of Saudi Arabia and the US have become complicatedly entangled despite the fact that the two countries have vastly different goals.
Highly recommended.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harry G. Arnold on August 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Other reviewers have commented or complained that if you know Saudi history, this book is old hat. Well, I don't know Saudi history, and this book details some almost unbelievable things. When I heard (Unabridged Audio CD) hours of descriptions of questionable human rights, monetary excesses and possible trickery in foreign policy since 1932, I somehow got the feeling that things were different now. So I was surprised to hear that apparently nothing had changed in 2002 when the Crown Prince visited Crawford, Texas.

I heard the author discuss this book on CSPAN and got the feeling that he was careful to state things in an unbiased manner. I have no way of knowing if, or how much, this book may be biased. But even if there is "an other hand", it would be hard to find an ofsetting justification for some of the duplicity, excesses and abuses described.

It is true that this book is basically a history of the Saudi Kingdom. However, its central focus appears to be a plan to protect their oil from takeover by other entities. The author leaves us to make up our own minds: Is the plan too far fetched to be believed, or is it so far fetched that we must believe it?

Also, the reader of this audio book is really good at pronouncing names.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Johnson on April 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book does not seem as well researched, as factual as Posner's previous books. It certainly does have some facts we don't often see, and for someone who knows little about Saudi Arabia this might be of value. However the overall description of the Saudi government leads one to think they are 99% thugs and thieves -- e.g. the way the monarch induces Saudi royal family to "earn" rather than just accept welfare, is to set them up to receive bribes! There certainly are repetitive examples of over-the-top spending and behavior by high ranking members of the Saudi Royal Family. Is the message class envy, or something more important here?

Early in the book I got the feeling that Posner was too personally involved in the news here, for example some of the . Certainly the anti-Jew and anti-Israel world view attributed to the Wahabbi thinking, is shocking and could imaginably lead to another Jewish Holocaust if they got what the Wahabbis wanted. I don't even know for certain whether Posner is Jewish, but get the impression he cares too emotionally about this book's subject, to write a 1st rate book here.

This book focuses on Saudi Arabia, but to address the world's Arab problems, anti-Semitism problems, and oil problems would require we look at the other parts of the Arab world as well. This book instead shows the threats posed by Wahabbi Islam, and the corruption that is brought about by unearned oil wealth, from a land that was seized by warfare in the first place.

Each of the chapters seems to me to be a half proved argument, there is just something a little flimsy about the sources by journalistic standards. I'm glad I read this book but feel there must be other books to read, before I get any kind of balanced picture of Saudi Arabia or the Arab world. Each of Posner's other books that I have read, is better than this one.
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