“Robert Lacey, a great reporter and stylish writer, has given us a valuable, insightful and provocative look into one of the world’s most powerful and still mysterious societies—the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is high drama and an epic tale. Dazzling—on every level.”
Meet Robert Lacey: Discussing and signing
Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia (Viking, $27.95)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009, 8pm
Books & Books, Coral Gables
What has happened in Saudi Arabia in the last thirty years has had a tremendous impact on the lives of Americans—everything from the involvement of Saudis in 9/11 to the fluctuations in oil prices that keep us on our toes at the pump. There have been many books Saudi Arabia and terrorism, but Robert Lacey’s is the first to go deep inside Saudi culture to show how the convulsions of the country’s recent history have had effects beyond its borders.
From the dramatic seizure of the Grand Mosque in Jeddah in 1979 to the deepening of U.S.-Saudi relations during the Persian Gulf War and the alienation and eventual rise to power of Saudi radicals like Osama bin Ladin, Inside the Kingdom presents a picture of a society trying to recover from the past. Lacey details the shifting winds of U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia, from the cozy relations between the Bushs and the Saudi royals, the Lewinsky-distracted Clinton administration’s dropping of the ball, to the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship after 9/11. Lacey also narrates how an Israel-Palestine peace plan nearly came to fruition under George W. Bush, when Bush wrote a letter to King Abdullah acknowledging his acceptance of a “Two-State Solution.” A plan was put into place to discuss definite steps to make this dream a reality, but this was hammered out on September 10, 2001. A day later it disappeared as quickly as it was formed.
Inside the Kingdom also focuses on the steps Saudi Arabia is taking to quell the rise of terrorism on its homeland. For example, instead of banishing convicted terrorists or making it impossible for them to jump back into a normal life, the government has started a rehabilitation program for terrorists released from prison.
In a world where events in the Middle East continue to have geopolitical consequences far beyond the region’s boundaries, Inside the Kingdom gives readers an essential understanding of this complex nation.
About the Author
Robert Lacey is a British journalist and the author of the bestselling books Majesty and Ford: The Men and the Machine, among others. In 1979, he moved with his family to Saudi Arabia for eighteen months to research his book, The Kingdom, which was banned by the Saudis. For the past three years, Robert has split his time between Saudi Arabia and London, gathering material for this book. In May 2009, Robert partnered with NOW on PBS for a documentary called “Rehab for Terrorists,” and also served as an advisor to the IMAX Theatre film Arabia 3D, in theaters in 2010.
Courtesy of Books and Books. For more information, visit www.booksandbooks.com
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