The Saudis: Inside the Desert Kingdom

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Overview

Sandra Mackey lived in Saudi Arabia for four years, and as far as the authorities knew, she was simply the wife of an American doctor. But she saw things and traveled to places rarely viewed by any outsider, let alone a Western woman, and she succeeded in smuggling out a series of crucial articles on Saudi culture and politics.

The Saudis offers a fascinating portrait of Saudi life, chronicling Mackey's extraordinary travels and experiences and depicting Saudi Arabia's strange ...

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Overview

Sandra Mackey lived in Saudi Arabia for four years, and as far as the authorities knew, she was simply the wife of an American doctor. But she saw things and traveled to places rarely viewed by any outsider, let alone a Western woman, and she succeeded in smuggling out a series of crucial articles on Saudi culture and politics.

The Saudis offers a fascinating portrait of Saudi life, chronicling Mackey's extraordinary travels and experiences and depicting Saudi Arabia's strange metamorphosis from backward desert kingdom to world power. Mackey reveals the chaos of a country in transformation: grappling with modernity, coming to terms with its own wealth, and battling to maintain an influential stance in an altogether new world. This updated edition provides the essential background to the new Saudi crisis as the mother state of international terrorism.

Author Biography: Sandra Mackey's most recent book on the Middle East is The Reckoning. She lives in Atlanta.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
A rare first-hand glimpse into the hidden realm of Saudi social and public life.
Library Journal
For four years beginning in 1978, Mackey lived a double life: as a journalist and professional she objectively observed and analyzed the changes transforming Saudi Arabia; as an expatriate American she was exasperated by the inefficiences and personal inconveniences endemic to that rapidly changing society. Her book outlines the impact of the oil boom on a conservative society, filling in background on the nature of Islam and traditional Arab life. Although fond of the country, she shows little empathy, concluding that Saudi Arabia suffers as ``a people who have lost their way, whose heritage proved unequal to the demands of modernization, whose leaders became corrupt, whose idols floundered . . . .'' Sarcasm and intolerance undermine her factual reporting, and make this a volume that libraries can pass up.Elizabeth R. Hayford, President, Assoc. Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395411650
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/1/1987
  • Pages: 433

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2006

    Good but...

    This is a great book. Extremely informative, especially for the casual reader. It provided an exciting, detailed, and rarely-seen window into Saudi Arabia, politically and socially. However, to nobody's fault it is a bit outdated, especially with recent events (such as the fall of the Soviet Union).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2003

    I was also there, as a single woman

    She was a brave and adventurous woman and captured the tempo of this intriquing land.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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