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King Faysal (1906-1975) ruled Saudi Arabia from 1964 until his assassination eleven years later. By that point his legacy as one of the most instrumental actors in the development of the modern Middle East had been assured.
Faysal bin Abdul 'Aziz Al Sa'ud had first served as a key diplomat and foreign minister for Saudi Arabia when he was prince and heir apparent. Always a keen decision-maker, he established important relationships not only in the region but also with European nations and the United States. By the time he ascended to the throne, Faysal understood how dependent many nations were on his country's oil, an understanding that led to the oil embargo of 1973 and the solidification of Saudi Arabia's leadership, wealth, and power.
In Faysal, Joseph Kechichian offers the first biography of the ruler in decades, and the first to make use of interviews and key archival and declassified documents. Utilizing the same writing style that has earned accolades from The Economist and other publications, Kechichian offers a balanced assessment of Faysal and his impact. Any understanding of the ties between Saudi Arabia and the West is incomplete without this book.
1 Saudi Arabia and the Al Sa'ud before Faysal 11
2 Prince Faysal (1906-1953) 26
3 Heir Apparent Faysal (1953-1964) 57
4 King Faysal (1964-1975) 105
5 Divergences from the United States 145
6 A Modernizing Vision for an Emergent Kingdom 172
7 The Faysal Legacy 192
App. 1 Chronology 201
App. 2 Vital Speeches 212
App. 3 Documents 223