Close Notification

Your cart does not contain any items

Vision or Mirage

Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads

David Rundell (Former American diplomat, Dubai)



We can order this in for you
How long will it take?


Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
17 September 2020
Middle Eastern history; Political leaders & leadership; Political structures: totalitarianism & dictatorship; Development economics; Petroleum & oil industries
'Clear-eyed and illuminating.' Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor 'A rich, superbly researched, balanced history of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.' General David Petraeus, former Commander U.S. Central Command and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 'Destined to be the best single volume on the Kingdom.' Ambassador Chas Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of Defense 'Should be prescribed reading for a new generation of political leaders.' Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of H.M. Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Something extraordinary is happening in Saudi Arabia. A traditional, tribal society once known for its lack of tolerance is rapidly implementing significant economic and social reforms. An army of foreign consultants is rewriting the social contract, King Salman has cracked down hard on corruption, and his dynamic though inexperienced son, the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is promoting a more tolerant Islam. But is all this a new vision for Saudi Arabia or merely a mirage likely to dissolve into Iranian-style revolution? David Rundell - one of America's foremost experts on Saudi Arabia - explains how the country has been stable for so long, why it is less so today, and what is most likely to happen in the future. The book is based on the author's close contacts and intimate knowledge of the country where he spent 15 years living and working as a diplomat. Vision or Mirage demystifies one of the most powerful, but least understood, states in the Middle East and is essential reading for anyone interested in the power dynamics and politics of the Arab World.
By:   David Rundell (Former American diplomat Dubai)
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 234mm,  Width: 156mm, 
Weight:   672g
ISBN:   9781838605933
ISBN 10:   1838605932
Pages:   336
Publication Date:   17 September 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Part I: HISTORIC LEGITIMACY Chapter 1: The House of Saud Chapter 2: The Wars of Unification Chapter 3: The Ikhwan Revolt Part II: MANAGING SUCCESSION Chapter 4: Kings Saud and Faisal Chapter 5: Kings Khalid, Fahd, and Abdullah Chapter 6: King Salman and MBS Part III: BALANCING STAKEHOLDERS Chapter 7: The Tribes Chapter 8: The Clergy Chapter 9: The Merchants Chapter 10: The Technocrats Chapter 11: The Royal Family Part IV PROVIDING COMPETENT GOVERNMENT Chapter 12: Providing Internal Security Chapter 13: Promoting Rapid Economic Development Chapter 14: Foreign Policy: Keeping Powerful Friends Chapter 15: Foreign Policy: Deploying Oil and Islam Chapter 16:Promoting Gradual Social Change Part V ADAPTING TO CHANGE Chapter 17: Economic Challenges: Oil Prices, Diversification and Jobs Chapter 18: Security Challenges: Deploying Oil, Allies and Islam Chapter 19: Political Challenges: Pluralism, Corruption, and Participation Chapter 20: Evolving Arabia

David Rundell studied Arabic at Oxford and served as an American diplomat for thirty years in Washington, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. Over those three decades he spent fifteen years in the kingdom working at the Embassy in Riyadh as well as the Consulates in Jeddah and Dhahran. His assignments in Saudi Arabia included the Chief of Mission, Charge d'Affaires, Deputy Chief of Mission, Political Counselor, Economic Counselor, Commercial Counselor and Commercial Attache. He has won numerous awards for his analytical reporting, and participated in Operation Desert Storm, Saudi accession to the World Trade Organization and the defeat of the al-Qaeda terror campaign in Saudi Arabia.

Reviews for Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads

A rich, superbly researched, balanced history of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. David Rundell was one of the State Department's pre-eminent authorities on Saudi Arabia and the Arab world, one on whom those of us working in the region depended heavily, and this history reflects his decades of experience in the region, his eye for nuance and detail, his deep understanding of the culture and relationships in the kingdom, and his exceptional ability to distill and present all of that brilliantly. -- General David Petraeus, US Army (Ret.), former Commander of the US Central Command and the Coalition Forces in Afghanistan, and former Director of the CIA Saudi Arabia has always been difficult for outsiders to understand, but it will be much less so now thanks to David Rundell. With insightful analysis of the roles of the ruling family, the tribal structure, the merchant class and the religious leadership, he forges all the pieces into a coherent whole that will enlighten specialists and novices alike. -- Thomas W. Lippman, author of Saudi Arabia on the Edge Amidst an array of parabolic pressures ranging from geopolitical forces to economic uncertainty and domestic instability, the House of Saud has long been one of the most powerful families in the Middle East. In spite of this, it faces a number of existential challenges as it moves into the 21st century. Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads offers a fascinating and timely exploration of how the Al Saud dynasty has retained power which is essential in understanding how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may evolve in the coming years. -- Simon Mabon Senior Lecturer, Lancaster University; author of Houses Built on Sand, The Origins of ISIS and Saudi Arabia and Iran The author of this book is pro-Saudi , and at the same time he is entirely objective. He reconciles direct opposites not by fudging the differences, but by offering us his uniquely deep knowledge of a country and a state that remain poorly documented. This is a very valuable book. -- Edward Luttwak, , Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington D.C A readable and breezy account of recent developments in Saudi Arabia as well as the author's interpretation of the transformational and polarizing trends during the last several years. It is a noteworthy contribution to the field. -- J. E. Peterson, historian and political analyst, author of Saudi Arabia Under Ibn Saud and Historical Dictionary of Saudi Arabia

See Also