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Saudi Enigma: A History

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Despite speculation about Saudi interests and loyalties that have been directed at the country since 9/11, Arabia remains the key US ally in the Arab Middle East. Ménoret debunks the facile notions about Saudi society, and focuses our attention on present political and economic realities that cannot be reduced to essentialist "tribalist" ideas. Ménoret illustrates the emerging autonomous—and Islamic—manifestations of Saudi national identity, fiercely reformist rather than medieval, complex and varied rather than ...

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Overview

Despite speculation about Saudi interests and loyalties that have been directed at the country since 9/11, Arabia remains the key US ally in the Arab Middle East. Ménoret debunks the facile notions about Saudi society, and focuses our attention on present political and economic realities that cannot be reduced to essentialist "tribalist" ideas. Ménoret illustrates the emerging autonomous—and Islamic—manifestations of Saudi national identity, fiercely reformist rather than medieval, complex and varied rather than merely a justification or support for the rule of the al-Saud royal family. Underlying this account is a sophisticated economic history of the Saudi state, from the eighteenth century to the present day, which details all the alliances and manoeuvres that have brought the country and its rulers to their current precarious position.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This carefully researched, analytical study of Saudi Arabia during the past century provides a much-needed examination of the country that provides Americans with much of its oil." —J.W. Walt, Choice
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842776056
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 8/20/2005
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 10.22 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Pascal Ménoret worked as a French civil servant with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was attache to the French Embassy in Riyadh, beginning a few days after September 11, 2001.

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Table of Contents

Preface by Francois Burgat
• Introduction
• Part 1: The Construction of Identities
• 1.The Island of the Arabs
• What is Wahhabism?
• Part 2: Power and Opposition
• Genesis and Structure of the Modern State 1902-1973
• A Bellicose Islam? 1973-2003
• Part 3: Economy and Society
• From Opulence to Scarcity
• An Ambiguous Social Modernisation
• The Emergemce of Women
• The Gulf War Generation
• Conclusion
• Chronology

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