America's Kingdom

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Overview

Now newly updated, America’s Kingdom debunks the many myths that now surround the United States’s special relationship with Saudi Arabia, also known as “the deal”: oil for security. Exploding the long-established myth that the Arabian American Oil Company, Aramco, made miracles happen in the desert, Robert Vitalis shows how oil led the US government to follow the company to the kingdom, and how oil and Aramco quickly became America’s largest single overseas private enterprise. From the establishment in the 1930s of a Jim Crow system in the Dhahran oil camps, to the consolidation of America’s Kingdom under the House of Fahd, the royal faction that still rules today, this is a meticulously researched account of Aramco as a microcosm of the colonial order.

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Editorial Reviews

Guardian
A devastating critique of the US-Saudi relationship.— Tariq Ali
American Historical Review
“Groundbreaking is a word too often used in assessing historical scholarship. Yet its application to Robert Vitalis's book is nothing less than a necessity. The result of painstaking research in not only heretofore unused but previously unknown records, the book makes a major contribution to a variety of fields: international history, US-Saudi relations, business history, American race history, and more ... Those seeking to explain the present US place in the world should consider it essential reading.”
London Review of Books
“A scholarly and readable book on the interaction between Saudi society and Aramco, the US oil giant that had its beginnings when the Saudi government granted its first concessions to Standard Oil of California in 1933. Combining history with political geography, Vitalis sheds a bright light on the origins and less savory aspects of the Saudi-US relationship.”
Tariq Ali - Guardian
“A devastating critique of the US-Saudi relationship.”
From the Publisher
“A devastating critique of the US-Saudi relationship.”—Tariq Ali, Guardian

“A scholarly and readable book on the interaction between Saudi society and Aramco, the US oil giant that had its beginnings when the Saudi government granted its first concessions to Standard Oil of California in 1933. Combining history with political geography, Vitalis sheds a bright light on the origins and less savory aspects of the Saudi-US relationship.”—London Review of Books

“Groundbreaking is a word too often used in assessing historical scholarship. Yet its application to Robert Vitalis’s book is nothing less than a necessity. The result of painstaking research in not only heretofore unused but previously unknown records, the book makes a major contribution to a variety of fields: international history, US-Saudi relations, business history, American race history, and more ... Those seeking to explain the present US place in the world should consider it essential reading.”—American Historical Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844673131
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 3/2/2009
  • Pages: 354
  • Sales rank: 830,378
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Vitalis is Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is author of When Capitalists Collide: Business Conflict and the End of Empire in Egypt and co-editor of Counter-Narratives: History, Contemporary Society, and Politics in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

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Table of Contents

Foreword to the Paperback Edition xi

Foreword xxv

Cast of Characters xxxvii

1 Captive Narratives: A Brief and Unexceptional Introduction to the History of Firms and States 1

Part 1 The Nearest Faraway Place 27

2 Arabian Frontiers 31

3 American Camp 62

4 The Wizards of Dhahran 88

Part 2 Desire's Empty Quarter 121

5 Ayyam al-Kadalak (Days of the Cadillac) 127

6 Eye of the Desert 158

7 El Jefe Rojo 194

8 America's Kingdom 228

Afterword 265

Acknowledgments 277

Notes 279

Bibliography 329

Index 338

Map and photographs follow page 26

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Book OK, B&N Not OK

    This book was fair, but I will never purchase from Barnes & Noble again and am suggesting the same to everyone I know.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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