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Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the Present
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Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad to the Present

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Mark Weston
998 g
236x165x51 mm

Saudi Arabia is the economic and spiritual centre of the Middle East, the source of one fourth of the world s oil, the cradle of Islam, a key American ally, and the birthplace of Osama bin Laden. Most books on Saudi Arabia focus on current events and give short shrift to the long history that is the key to understanding the Saudis.
Author s Note. Foreword by Wyche Fowler Jr. Cities and Regions of Saudi Arabia Today. The Men of the Al Saud Family. Introduction. Part One: THE BIRTH OF ISLAM IN THE SEVENTH CENTURY. 1 Muhammad: Islam s Prophet. 2 The Successors Who Preserved the Faith and Began the Conquests: Abu Bakr and Umar (632 644). 3 Expansion, Civil War, and the Sunni Shi ite Split: Uthman and Ali (644 661). 4 The Beginning of Monarchy: Muawiya, the Fifth Caliph, His Son Yazid, and the Martyrdom of Hussein (661 683). Part Two: THE FIRST AND SECOND SAUDI STATES (1744 1887). 5 The Founder of Wahhabism: Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab (1703 1792). 6 Nineteenth Century Saudi Arabia (1792 1887). Part Three: THE CREATION OF MODERN SAUDI ARABIA: THE LIFE OF KING ABDUL AZIZ (1876 1953). 7 Exile and Return (1876 1902). 8 Expanding the Kingdom (1902 1926). 9 Powerful but Poor (1926 1945). 10 The Influx of Oil Money (1945 1953). Part Four: OIL BRINGS POWER: THE LIFE OF KING FAISAL (1905 1975). 11 The Young Prince and Foreign Minister (1905 1953). 12 The Struggle between the Brothers (1953 1964). 13 The King in Full Control (1964 1972). 14 Oil as Political Power (1973 1975). Part Five: MODERN SAUDI ARABIA (1975 2001). 15 The Boom Years of King Khalid (1975 1982). 16 The Lean Years of King Fahad (1982 1990). 17 The Persian Gulf War (1990 1991). 18 The Rise of Militant Fundamentalism (1991 1996). 19 Abdullah Begins Reform, bin Laden Steps Up Terror (1996 August 2001). Part Six: SAUDI ARABIA SINCE 9/11. 20 Fighting Terror, Fostering Reform (2001 2007). 21 A New Oil Boom, a New Business Climate (2003 ). 22 Abdullah Becomes King, Iran Becomes a Threat (2005 ). Conclusion. Acknowledgments. Notes. Selected Bibliography. Index. Photo gallery.
Saudi Arabia: oil rich, devoutly Muslim, and a vital ally To many in the West, Saudi Arabia is easy to criticize. It is the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Saudi women are not permitted to drive, work with men, or travel without a man s permission. Prior to 9/11, the Saudis sent millions of dollars abroad to schools that taught Muslim extremism and to charities that turned out to be fronts for al Qaeda. In Prophets and Princes, a highly respected scholar who has lived in Saudi Arabia contends that despite these serious shortcomings, the kingdom is still America s most important ally in the Middle East, a voice for moderation toward Israel, and a nation with a surprising ability to make many of the economic and cultural changes necessary to adjust to modern realities. Author Mark Weston offers an objective and balanced history of the only nation on earth named after its ruling family. Drawing on interviews with many Saudi men and women, Weston portrays a complex society in which sixty percent of Saudi Arabia s university students are women, and citizens who seek a constitutional monarchy can petition the king without fear of reprisal. Filled with new and underreported information about the most controversial aspects of life in Saudi Arabia, Prophets and Princes is a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East, oil, Islam, or the war on terror..

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