MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman

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MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman
Title MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman
Author
Publisher Tim Duggan Books
Release DateMarch 10, 2020
Category History
Total Pages 347 pages
ISBN 0593238133
Book Rating 4.5 out of 5 from 278 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

A gripping, behind-the-scenes portrait of the rise of Saudi Arabia’s secretive and mercurial new ruler “Revelatory . . . a vivid portrait of how MBS has altered the kingdom during his half-decade of rule.”—The Washington Post MBS is the untold story of how a mysterious young prince emerged from Saudi Arabia’s sprawling royal family to overhaul the economy and society of the richest country in the Middle East—and gather as much power as possible into his own hands. Since his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne in 2015, Mohammed bin Salman has leveraged his influence to restructure the kingdom’s economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes, and confront its enemies around the region, especially Iran. That vision won him fans at home and on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood, and at the White House, where President Trump embraced the prince as a key player in his own vision for the Middle East. But over time, the sheen of the visionary young reformer has become tarnished, leaving many struggling to determine whether MBS is in fact a rising dictator whose inexperience and rash decisions are destabilizing the world’s most volatile region. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, MBS reveals the machinations behind the kingdom’s catastrophic military intervention in Yemen, the bizarre detention of princes and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, and the shifting Saudi relationships with Israel and the United States. And finally, it sheds new light on the greatest scandal of the young autocrat’s rise: the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul, a crime that shook Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Washington and left the world wondering whether MBS could get away with murder. MBS is a riveting, eye-opening account of how the young prince has wielded vast powers to reshape his kingdom and the world around him.

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Mbs by Ben Hubbard

Title MBS
Author Ben Hubbard
Publisher Tim Duggan Books
Release Date 2020-03-10
Category Political Science
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781984823847
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A gripping, behind-the-scenes portrait of the rise of Saudi Arabia’s secretive and mercurial new ruler “A rare and penetrating look behind the curtain of the world’s most important family and its dangerous new leader.”—Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower MBS is the untold story of how a mysterious young prince emerged from Saudi Arabia’s sprawling royal family to overhaul the economy and society of the richest country in the Middle East—and gather as much power as possible into his own hands. Since his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne in 2015, Mohammed bin Salman has leveraged his influence to restructure the kingdom’s economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes, and confront its enemies around the region, especially Iran. That vision won him fans at home and on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood, and at the White House, where President Trump embraced the prince as a key player in his own vision for the Middle East. But over time, the sheen of the visionary young reformer has become tarnished, leaving many struggling to determine whether MBS is in fact a rising dictator whose inexperience and rash decisions are destabilizing the world’s most volatile region. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, MBS reveals the machinations behind the kingdom’s catastrophic military intervention in Yemen, the bizarre detention of princes and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, and the shifting Saudi relationships with Israel and the United States. And finally, it sheds new light on the greatest scandal of the young autocrat’s rise: the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul, a crime that shook Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Washington and left the world wondering whether MBS could get away with murder. MBS is a riveting, eye-opening account of how the young prince has wielded vast powers to reshape his kingdom and the world around him.

Mbs by Ben Hubbard

Title Mbs
Author Ben Hubbard
Publisher Tim Duggan Books
Release Date 2020-03-10
Category
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781984823823
Language English, Spanish, and French
GET BOOK
Book Summary:

The gripping chronicle of the rise of Saudi Arabia's secretive and mercurial new ruler "A rare and penetrating look behind the curtain of the world's most important family and its dangerous new leader."--Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower MBS is the untold story of how a mysterious young prince emerged from Saudi Arabia's sprawling royal family to overhaul the economy and society of the richest country in the Middle East--and gather as much power as possible into his own hands. Since his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne in 2015, Mohammed bin Salman has leveraged his influence to restructure the kingdom's economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes, and confront its enemies around the region, especially Iran. That vision won him fans at home and on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley, in Hollywood, and at the White House, where President Trump embraced the prince as a key player in his own vision for the Middle East. But over time, the sheen of the visionary young reformer has become tarnished, leaving many struggling to determine whether MBS is in fact a rising dictator whose inexperience and rash decisions are destabilizing the world's most volatile region. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of interviews, MBS reveals the machinations behind the kingdom's catastrophic military intervention in Yemen, the bizarre detention of princes and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, and the shifting Saudi relationships with Israel and the United States. And finally, it sheds new light on the greatest scandal of the young autocrat's rise: the brutal killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul, a crime that shook Saudi Arabia's relationship with Washington and left the world wondering whether MBS could get away with murder. MBS is a riveting, eye-opening account of how the young prince has wielded vast powers to reshape his kingdom and the world around him.

Title MBS The Rise to Power of Mohammed Bin Salman
Author Ben Hubbard
Publisher HarperCollins UK
Release Date 2020-03-10
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780008340575
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Financial Times Book Best Book of the Year 2020 A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year 2020 The gripping, untold story of how Saudi Arabia's secretive and mercurial new ruler rose to power.

Blood And Oil by Bradley Hope

Title Blood and Oil
Author Bradley Hope
Publisher Hachette UK
Release Date 2020-09-01
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780306846656
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

**Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award** From award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters Justin Scheck and Bradley Hope (coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale), this revelatory look at the world's most powerful ruling family reveals how a rift within Saudi Arabian royalty produced Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a charismatic leader with a ruthless streak. Thirty-five-year-old Mohammed bin Salman's sudden rise stunned the world. Political and business leaders such as former UK prime minister Tony Blair and WME chairman Ari Emanuel flew out to meet with the crown prince and came away convinced that his desire to reform the kingdom was sincere. He spoke passionately about bringing women into the workforce and toning down Saudi Arabia's restrictive Islamic law. He lifted the ban on women driving and explored investments in Silicon Valley. But MBS began to betray an erratic interior beneath the polish laid on by scores of consultants and public relations experts like McKinsey & Company. The allegations of his extreme brutality and excess began to slip out, including that he ordered the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While stamping out dissent by holding three hundred people, including prominent members of the Saudi royal family, in the Ritz-Carlton hotel and elsewhere for months, he continued to exhibit his extreme wealth, including buying a $70 million chateau in Europe and one of the world's most expensive yachts. It seemed that he did not understand nor care about how the outside world would react to his displays of autocratic muscle-what mattered was the flex. Blood and Oil is a gripping work of investigative journalism about one of the world's most decisive and dangerous new leaders. Hope and Scheck show how MBS's precipitous rise coincided with the fraying of the simple bargain that had been at the head of U.S.-Saudi relations for more than eighty years: oil in exchange for military protection. Caught in his net are well-known US bankers, Hollywood figures, and politicians, all eager to help the charming and crafty crown prince. The Middle East is already a volatile region. Add to the mix an ambitious prince with extraordinary powers, hunger for lucre, a tight relationship with the White House through President Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, and an apparent willingness to break anything -- and anyone -- that gets in the way of his vision, and the stakes of his rise are bracing. If his bid fails, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an unstable failed state and a magnet for Islamic extremists. And if his bid to transform his country succeeds, even in part, it will have reverberations around the world.

Behind The Kingdom S Veil by Susanne Koelbl

Title Behind the Kingdom s Veil
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Publisher Mango Media Inc.
Release Date 2020-09-15
Category History
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781642503456
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Witness the Mysterious World of Saudi Arabia Take a deep dive behind the veils and walls of one of the world’s most secretive countries. Learn how religious extremism and oppression of women over the past forty years support a single goal–preserving the power of the House of Saud. Saudi Arabia plays a key world role yet few have first-hand knowledge of who lives, suffers, and wields power there. Now, Susanne Koelbl, award-winning military and foreign correspondent for the German news magazine Der Spiegel, unveils many secrets of this mysterious kingdom. As a journalist, for years Koelbl has traveled throughout the Middle East, and specifically Saudi Arabia, and recently lived in Riyadh during the most dramatic changes since the country’s founding. She has long cultivated relationships on every level of Saudi society and is equally at ease with ultra-conservative Wahhabi preachers, oppositionists, and women from all walks of life. In Behind the Kingdom’s Veil : • Have breakfast with Royal Highnesses, meet Osama bin Laden’s bomb-making trainer, enter palaces of secret service chiefs and diplomatic legends. • Listen to intimate conversations with women who feel like prisoners in their homes, contrasted with their newly offered freedoms. • Get to know journalist Jamal Khashoggi, murdered and brutally dismembered by order of the current regime. • View an in-depth portrait of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), contrasting liberalization of Saudi society with ruthless oppression of dissenters. Chapter-by-chapter the black box that is Saudi Arabia opens. Become an eyewitness to the inner workings of the new as well as the traditional Saudi Arabia. Learn about the not-so-obvious facts of Saudi Arabia’s history, politics and customs. Understand the intricate and often hidden power relations within the kingdom. If you have read books such as Karen Elliott House’s On Saudi Arabia or Robert Lacey’s Inside the Kingdom, Behind the Kingdom’s Veil should be your next read.

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Title Inside the Kingdom
Author Robert Lacey
Publisher Penguin Canada
Release Date 2009-10-27
Category History
Total Pages 432
ISBN 9780143178958
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Following on his 1982 classic, The Kingdom, British journalist and bestselling author Robert Lacey offers penetrating insights into the complex country of Saudi Arabia. Taking the reader from the dramatic seizure of the Grand Mosque in Jeddah in 1979 to the deepening U.S.-Saudi relations during the Persian Gulf War and the increasing alienation of such radical fundamentalists as Osama bin Laden, Lacey presents an unvarnished picture of a country where repression is endemic and religion rules all. Through conversations with a broad range of Saudis, from high princes and ambassadors to men and women on the street, Inside the Kingdom is a story of a people trying to reconcile the religious separatism of the past with the rapidly changing world in which they are increasingly intertwined.

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A history of the most profitable company in the world, Saudi Aramco, and the story behind the family that ruthlessly maneuvered to control this multi-trillion dollar enterprise. The Saudi royal family and Aramco leadership are, and almost always have been, motivated by ambitions of long-term strength and profit. They use Islamic law, traditional ideology, and harsh justice to maintain stability and their own power, but underneath the thobes and abayas and behind the religious fanaticism and illiberalism lies a most sophisticated and ruthless business enterprise. Today, that corporation is poised to pull off the biggest IPO in history. Over more than a century, fed by ambition and oil wealth, al Saud, as the royal family is known, has come from next to nothing to rule as absolute monarchs, a contrast with the world around them and modernity itself. The story starts with Saudi Arabia's founder, Abdul Aziz, a lowly refugee embarking on a daring gambit to reconquer his family's ancestral home?the mud-walled city of Riyadh. It takes readers almost to present day, when the multinational family business has made al Saud the wealthiest family in the world and on the cusp of a new transformation. Now al Saud and its family business, Aramco, are embarking on their most ambitious move: taking the company public and preparing the country for the next generation.

Lawrence In Arabia by Scott Anderson

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Author Scott Anderson
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Release Date 2013-08-06
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Total Pages 592
ISBN 9780385532938
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

One of the Best Books of the Year: The Christian Science Monitor NPR The Seattle Times St. Louis Post-Dispatch Chicago Tribune A New York Times Notable Book Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power. At the center of it all was Lawrence himself. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed.

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Title The Killing in the Consulate
Author Jonathan Rugman
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020-10
Category
Total Pages 368
ISBN 1471184781
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The horrific true story of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate: how it happened, why it happened and what happened next

On Saudi Arabia by Karen Elliott House

Title On Saudi Arabia
Author Karen Elliott House
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2013
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9780307473288
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from The Wall Street Journal draws on three decades of firsthand experience to profile the Saudi Arabia of today, offering insight into its leaders, citizens, cultural complexities and international prospects.

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Publisher Random House Trade Paperbacks
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ISBN 9780812986617
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Book Summary:

In the major lead essay, recently released by the Pentagon's Office of Net Assessment, Robert D. Kaplan lays out a blueprint of the world's changing power politics that recalls Marco Polo's decades-long trek from Venice to China in the late thirteenth century. As Europe fractures from changes in culture and migration, Eurasia coheres into a single conflict system. China is constructing a land bridge to Europe. Iran and India are trying to link the oil fields of Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. America's ability to influence the power balance in Eurasia is declining. This is Kaplan's first collection of essays since his classic The Coming Anarchy was published in 2000. Drawing on decades of firsthand experience as a foreign correspondent and military embed for The Atlantic, as well as encounters with preeminent realist thinkers, Kaplan outlines the timeless principles that should shape America's role in a turbulent world- a respect for the limits of Western-style democracy; a delineation between American interests and American values; an awareness of the psychological toll of warfare; a projection of power via a

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Author Madawi Al-Rasheed
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2018-06-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 367
ISBN 9780190050153
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

King Salman of Saudi Arabia began his rule in 2015 confronted with a series of unprecedented challenges. The dilemmas he has faced are new and significant, from leadership shuffles and falling oil prices to regional and international upheaval. Salman's Legacy interrogates this era and assesses its multiple social, political, regional and international challenges. Whether Salman's policies have saved the kingdom from serious upheaval is yet to be seen, but no doubt a new kingdom is emerging. This book offers historical and contemporary insights into the various problems that persist in haunting the Saudi state. Madawi Al-Rasheed brings together well-established historians and social scientists with deep knowledge of Saudi Arabia--its history, culture and contemporary politics--to reflect on Salman's kingdom. They trace both policy continuities and recent ruptures that have perplexed observers of Saudi Arabia. This lucid and nuanced analysis invites serious reflection on the Saudi leadership's capacity to withstand the recent challenges, especially those that came with the Arab uprisings. At stake is the future of a country that remains vital to regional stability, international security, and the global economy.

Qatar And The Gulf Crisis by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

Title Qatar and the Gulf Crisis
Author Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2020-03-01
Category Political Science
Total Pages 186
ISBN 9780197536063
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In 2017, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed diplomatic ties with Qatar, launching an economic blockade by land, air and sea. The self-proclaimed 'Anti-Terror Quartet' offered maximalist demands: thirteen 'conditions' recalling Austria-Hungary's 1914 ultimatum to Serbia. They may even have intended military action. Well into its second year, the standoff in the Gulf has no realistic end in sight. With the Bahraini and Emirati criminalisation of expressing support for Qatar, and the Saudi labelling of detainees as 'traitors' for their alleged Qatari links, bitterness has been stoked between deeply interconnected peoples. The adviser to the Saudi crown prince advocating a moat to physically separate Qatar from the Arabian Peninsula illustrates the ongoing intensity--and irrationality--of the crisis. Most reporting and analysis of these developments has focused on questions of regional geopolitics, and framed the standoff in terms of its impact on (largely) Western interests. Lost in this thicket of commentary is consideration of how the Qatari leadership and population have responded to the blockade. As the 2022 FIFA World Cup draws closer, the ongoing Qatar crisis becomes increasingly important to understand. Ulrichsen offers an authoritative study of this international standoff, from both sides.

Erdogan S Empire by Soner Cagaptay

Title Erdogan s Empire
Author Soner Cagaptay
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date 2019-09-19
Category Political Science
Total Pages 392
ISBN 9781786726346
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Gradually since 2003, Turkey's autocratic leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sought to make Turkey a great power -- in the tradition of past Turkish leaders from the late Ottoman sultans to Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey. Here the leading authority Soner Cagaptay, author of The New Sultan -- the first biography of President Erdogan -- provides a masterful overview of the power politics in the Middle East and Turkey's place in it. Erdogan has picked an unorthodox model in the context of recent Turkish history, attempting to cast his country as a stand-alone Middle Eastern power. In doing so Turkey has broken ranks with its traditional Western allies, including the United States and has embraced an imperial-style foreign policy which has aimed to restore Turkey's Ottoman-era reach into the Arabian Middle East and the Balkans. Today, in addition to a domestic crackdown on dissent and journalistic freedoms, driven by Erdogan's style of governance, Turkey faces a hostile world. Ankara has nearly no friends left in the Middle East, and it faces a threat from resurgent historic adversaries: Russia and Iran. Furthermore, Turkey cannot rely on the unconditional support of its traditional Western allies. Can Erdogan deliver Turkey back to safety? What are the risks that lie ahead for him, and his country? How can Turkey truly become a great power, fulfilling a dream shared by many Turks, the sultans, Ataturk, and Erdogan himself?

Title The Rise Corruption and Coming Fall of the House of Saud
Author Saïd K. Aburish
Publisher A&C Black
Release Date 2005-08-15
Category History
Total Pages 352
ISBN 9780747578741
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The explosive story of the dynasty whose greed and corruption have brought Saudi Arabia to the very brink of bankruptcy - a dynasty now on the verge of collapse

Order From Ashes by Thanassis Cambanis

Title Order from Ashes
Author Thanassis Cambanis
Publisher Century Foundation Press
Release Date 2018-03-13
Category Middle East
Total Pages 420
ISBN 0870785508
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Middle East is experiencing unprecedented political turmoil, violence, and state failure. It also suffers from a unique deficit in its peace and security architecture, even compared to other fractious or unevenly developed regions. Key stakeholders have failed to address the lack of formal structures, even though chronic conflict and sharp crises regularly underscore the deadly and destabilizing consequences. In this volume, established researchers explore the possibilities for creating security architecture and institutions to facilitate cooperation and mitigate the risks of conflict escalation. These studies examine past and current efforts to undertake regional security dialogue; approaches to collective security; confidence-building measures that can decrease tensions and establish precedents for security cooperation; non-Arab regional actors and outside parties and their role in regional security efforts; and the shape and scope of a future regional security system. A grim urgency marks the current historical moment. The Middle East gravely needs new ideas to advance regional security. While crisis and conflict have exacerbated threats and fears, they have also created opportunities for carefully crafted prescriptions and alternative security frameworks.

Lessons From A Warzone by Louai Al Roumani

Title Lessons from a Warzone
Author Louai Al Roumani
Publisher Penguin UK
Release Date 2020-04-02
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9780241986776
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A STORY OF HOPE, PERSEVERANCE AND RESILIENCE IN THE MIDST OF WAR Louai Al Roumani was head of finance and planning at one of the largest banks in Syria, when the war broke out in 2011. In Lessons from a Warzone, Al Roumani shares his very personal account of coping with the day-to-day realities of leading an organization in dangerous and hostile conditions. His story shows how inspiration can come from the unlikeliest of places - from the timeless wisdom of merchants in ancient souks to the changing patterns of military checkpoints. During that time, not only did the bank remain robust when others faltered - it thrived and became the undisputed leading bank as people's trust in its capability to safeguard their life-long savings strengthened. In this book, Al Roumani distils the knowledge and skills he and his colleagues developed while steering the bank through four impossible years into ten lessons applicable to any leader facing a crisis today. His valuable, and often counterintuitive, advice - ranging from resisting over-planning to hacking your own IT department to cutting costs (but not morale) - will help anyone understand how to be resilient even in the most challenging of times.

Title Authoritarianism Goes Global
Author Larry Diamond
Publisher JHU Press
Release Date 2016-04-15
Category Political Science
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9781421419985
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Over the past decade, illiberal powers have become emboldened and gained influence within the global arena. Leading authoritarian countries—including China, Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela—have developed new tools and strategies to contain the spread of democracy and challenge the liberal international political order. Meanwhile, the advanced democracies have retreated, failing to respond to the threat posed by the authoritarians. As undemocratic regimes become more assertive, they are working together to repress civil society while tightening their grip on cyberspace and expanding their reach in international media. These political changes have fostered the emergence of new counternorms—such as the authoritarian subversion of credible election monitoring—that threaten to further erode the global standing of liberal democracy. In Authoritarianism Goes Global, a distinguished group of contributors present fresh insights on the complicated issues surrounding the authoritarian resurgence and the implications of these systemic shifts for the international order. This collection of essays is critical for advancing our understanding of the emerging challenges to democratic development. Contributors: Anne Applebaum, Anne-Marie Brady, Alexander Cooley, Javier Corrales, Ron Deibert, Larry Diamond, Patrick Merloe, Abbas Milani, Andrew Nathan, Marc F. Plattner, Peter Pomerantsev, Douglas Rutzen, Lilia Shevtsova, Alex Vatanka, Christopher Walker, and Frederic Wehrey

Between Two Fires by Joshua Yaffa

Title Between Two Fires
Author Joshua Yaffa
Publisher Unknown
Release Date 2020
Category BUSINESS & ECONOMICS
Total Pages 356
ISBN 9781524760595
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Yaffa introduces us to some of contemporary Russia's most remarkable figures who have built their careers and constructed their identities in the shadow of the Putin system. Torn between their own ambitions and the omnipresent demands of the state, each walks an individual path of compromise. They understand that their dreams are best-- or only-- realized through varying degrees of cooperation with the Russian government. By showing how citizens shape their lives around the demands of a capricious and frequently repressive state-- as often by choice as under threat of force-- Yaffa offers urgent lessons about the true nature of modern authoritarianism. -- adapted from jacket

The Kingdom by Robert Lacey

Title The Kingdom
Author Robert Lacey
Publisher Avon Books
Release Date 1983
Category History
Total Pages 630
ISBN 0380617625
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Follows the line of the Saudi succession from its nineteenth-century origins to the present and chronicles the nation's ruling families' progression to an oil superpower.

The Arab Winter by Noah Feldman

Title The Arab Winter
Author Noah Feldman
Publisher Princeton University Press
Release Date 2020-05-12
Category History
Total Pages 216
ISBN 9780691201443
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice Why the conventional wisdom about the Arab Spring is wrong The Arab Spring promised to end dictatorship and bring self-government to people across the Middle East. Yet everywhere except Tunisia it led to either renewed dictatorship, civil war, extremist terror, or all three. In The Arab Winter, Noah Feldman argues that the Arab Spring was nevertheless not an unmitigated failure, much less an inevitable one. Rather, it was a noble, tragic series of events in which, for the first time in recent Middle Eastern history, Arabic-speaking peoples took free, collective political action as they sought to achieve self-determination. Focusing on the Egyptian revolution and counterrevolution, the Syrian civil war, the rise and fall of ISIS in Syria and Iraq, and the Tunisian struggle toward Islamic constitutionalism, Feldman provides an original account of the political consequences of the Arab Spring, including the reaffirmation of pan-Arab identity, the devastation of Arab nationalisms, and the death of political Islam with the collapse of ISIS. He also challenges commentators who say that the Arab Spring was never truly transformative, that Arab popular self-determination was a mirage, and even that Arabs or Muslims are less capable of democracy than other peoples. Above all, The Arab Winter shows that we must not let the tragic outcome of the Arab Spring disguise its inherent human worth. People whose political lives had been determined from the outside tried, and for a time succeeded, in making politics for themselves. That this did not result in constitutional democracy or a better life for most of those affected doesn't mean the effort didn't matter. To the contrary, it matters for history—and it matters for the future.

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