Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads

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Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads
Title Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads
Author
Publisher I.B. Tauris
Release DateSeptember 17, 2020
Category Law
Total Pages 336 pages
ISBN 1838605932
Book Rating 4.4 out of 5 from 34 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

'Clear-eyed and illuminating.' Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor 'A rich, superbly researched, balanced history of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.' General David Petraeus, former Commander U.S. Central Command and Director of the Central Intelligence Agency 'Destined to be the best single volume on the Kingdom.' Ambassador Chas Freeman, former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Assistant Secretary of Defense 'Should be prescribed reading for a new generation of political leaders.' Sir Richard Dearlove, former Chief of H.M. Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and Master of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Something extraordinary is happening in Saudi Arabia. A traditional, tribal society once known for its lack of tolerance is rapidly implementing significant economic and social reforms. An army of foreign consultants is rewriting the social contract, King Salman has cracked down hard on corruption, and his dynamic though inexperienced son, the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is promoting a more tolerant Islam. But is all this a new vision for Saudi Arabia or merely a mirage likely to dissolve into Iranian-style revolution? David Rundell - one of America's foremost experts on Saudi Arabia - explains how the country has been stable for so long, why it is less so today, and what is most likely to happen in the future. The book is based on the author's close contacts and intimate knowledge of the country where he spent 15 years living and working as a diplomat. Vision or Mirage demystifies one of the most powerful, but least understood, states in the Middle East and is essential reading for anyone interested in the power dynamics and politics of the Arab World.

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Vision Or Mirage by David Rundell

Title Vision or Mirage
Author David Rundell
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date 2020-09-17
Category History
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9781838605940
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

'Clear-eyed and illuminating' Henry Kissinger 'A rich, superbly researched, balanced history of the modern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia' General David Petraeus 'Destined to be the best single volume on the Kingdom.' Ambassador Chas Freeman 'Should be prescribed reading for a new generation of political leaders.' Sir Richard Dearlove Something extraordinary is happening in Saudi Arabia. A traditional, tribal society once known for its lack of tolerance is rapidly implementing significant economic and social reforms. An army of foreign consultants is rewriting the social contract, King Salman has cracked down hard on corruption, and his dynamic though inexperienced son, the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is promoting a more tolerant Islam. But is all this a new vision for Saudi Arabia or merely a mirage likely to dissolve into Iranian-style revolution? David Rundell - one of America's foremost experts on Saudi Arabia - explains how the country has been stable for so long, why it is less so today, and what is most likely to happen in the future. The book is based on the author's close contacts and intimate knowledge of the country where he spent 15 years living and working as a diplomat. Vision or Mirage demystifies one of the most powerful, but least understood, states in the Middle East and is essential reading for anyone interested in the power dynamics and politics of the Arab World.

Blood And Oil by Bradley Hope

Title Blood and Oil
Author Bradley Hope
Publisher Hachette Books
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.

Inside The Mirage by Thomas Lippman

Title Inside The Mirage
Author Thomas Lippman
Publisher Basic Books
Release Date 2008-11-10
Category History
Total Pages 416
ISBN 0786742534
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has always been a marriage of convenience, not affection. In a bargain cemented by President Roosevelt and Saudi Arabia's founding king in 1945, Americans gained access to Saudi oil, and the Saudis sent the dollars back with purchases of American planes, American weapons, American construction projects and American know-how that brought them modernization, education and security. The marriage has suited both sides. But how long can it last? In Inside the Mirage , veteran Middle East journalist Thomas W. Lippman shows that behind the official proclamations of friendship and alliance lies a complex relationship that has often been strained by the mutual aversion of two very different societies. Today the U.S.-Saudi partnership faces its greatest challenge as younger Saudis less enamored of America rise to prominence and Americans, scorched by Saudi-based terrorism, question the value of their ties to the desert kingdom. With so much at stake for the entire, ever-volatile Middle East, this compelling and absolutely necessary account brings the light of new research onto the relationship between these two countries and the future of their partnership.

Thicker Than Oil by Rachel Bronson

Title Thicker Than Oil
Author Rachel Bronson
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2008-06-05
Category Political Science
Total Pages 384
ISBN 0199741174
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

For fifty-five years, the United States and Saudi Arabia were solid partners. Then came the 9/11 attacks, which sorely tested that relationship. In Thicker than Oil, Rachel Bronson reveals why the partnership became so intimate and how the countries' shared interests sowed the seeds of today's most pressing problem--Islamic radicalism. Drawing on a wide range of archival material, declassified documents, and interviews with leading Saudi and American officials, and including many colorful stories of diplomatic adventures and misadventures, Bronson chronicles a history of close, and always controversial, contacts. She argues that contrary to popular belief the relationship was never simply about "oil for security." Saudi Arabia's geographic location and religiously motivated foreign policy figured prominently in American efforts to defeat "godless communism." From Africa to Afghanistan, Egypt to Nicaragua, the two worked to beat back Soviet expansion. But decisions made for hardheaded Cold War purposes left behind a legacy that today enflames the Middle East. Looking forward, Bronson outlines the challenges confronting the relationship. The Saudi government faces a zealous internal opposition bent on America's and Saudi Arabia's destruction. Yet from the perspective of both countries, the status quo is clearly unsustainable.

Mbs by Ben Hubbard

Title MBS
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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.

Title The Way Through the Woods
Author Colin Dexter
Publisher Fawcett
Release Date 2011-08-24
Category Fiction
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780307797421
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

"Cunning...Your imagination will be frenetically flapping its wings until the very last chapter." THE WASHINGTON POST BOOK WORLD Morse is enjoying a rare if unsatisfying holiday in Dorset when the first letter appears in THE TIMES. A year before, a stunning Swedish student disappeared from Oxfordshire, leaving behind a rucksack with her identification. As the lady was dishy, young, and traveling alone, the Thames Valley Police suspected foul play. But without a body, and with precious few clues, the investigation ground to a halt. Now it seems that someone who can hold back no longer is composing clue-laden poetry that begins an enthusiastic correspondence among England's news-reading public. Not one to be left behind, Morse writes a letter of his own--and follows a twisting path through the Wytham Woods that leads to a most shocking murder. From the Paperback edition.

Inside The Kingdom by Robert Lacey

Title Inside the Kingdom
Author Robert Lacey
Publisher Penguin Canada
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Total Pages 432
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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.

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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Title Saudi Arabia Undercover
Author Harper Walsh
Publisher Monsoon Books
Release Date 2019-11-01
Category Travel
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9781912049615
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Life in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is no party … or so we thought. In Saudi Arabia Undercover, expat Harper Walsh busts this myth with true stories of homemade alcohol, pill popping, parties staffed by pretty Ethiopian girls in expat gated compounds, smuggled bacon sandwiches and frequent trips over the border into Bahrain for booze and sex. With few opportunities for Saudi men to interact with women – beyond flirtatious eye contact with burka-clad supermarket checkout girls and the unceasing sexual abuse of Filipina maids – the use of gay dating apps is rife. In this hilarious piece of gonzo journalism, Walsh and his merry band of expat misfits walk readers down the male-dominated streets of Saudi Arabia, where a Friday night out means a kebab followed by a public decapitation at Chop Chop Square, and on much-deserved R&R breaks to Bahrain, Bangkok and Cairo, where a glass of cold beer does not invite 100 lashes, imprisonment and certain deportation.

Behind The Kingdom S Veil by Susanne Koelbl

Title Behind the Kingdom s Veil
Author Susanne Koelbl
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.

Kings And Presidents by Bruce Riedel

Title Kings and Presidents
Author Bruce Riedel
Publisher Brookings Institution Press
Release Date 2019-03-12
Category Political Science
Total Pages 275
ISBN 9780815737162
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An insider's account of the often-fraught U.S.-Saudi relationship Saudi Arabia and the United States have been partners since 1943, when President Roosevelt met with two future Saudi monarchs. Subsequent U.S. presidents have had direct relationships with those kings and their successors—setting the tone for a special partnership between an absolute monarchy with a unique Islamic identity and the world's most powerful democracy. Although based in large part on economic interests, the U.S.-Saudi relationship has rarely been smooth. Differences over Israel have caused friction since the early days, and ambiguities about Saudi involvement—or lack of it—in the September 11 terrorist attacks against the United States continue to haunt the relationship. Now, both countries have new, still-to be-tested leaders in President Trump and King Salman. Bruce Riedel for decades has followed these kings and presidents during his career at the CIA, the White House, and Brookings. This book offers an insider's account of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, with unique insights. Using declassified documents, memoirs by both Saudis and Americans, and eyewitness accounts, this book takes the reader inside the royal palaces, the holy cities, and the White House to gain an understanding of this complex partnership.

America In Afghanistan by Sharifullah Dorani

Title America in Afghanistan
Author Sharifullah Dorani
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date 2019-01-24
Category History
Total Pages 328
ISBN 9781786735829
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Afghanistan has been a theatre of civil and international conflict for much of the twentieth century – stability is essential if there is to be peace in the Greater Middle East. Yet policy-makers in the West often seem to forget the lessons learned from previous administrations, whose interventions have contributed to the instability in the region. Here, Sharifullah Dorani focuses on the process of decision-making, looking at which factors influenced American policy-makers in the build-up to its longest war, the Afghanistan War, and how reactions on the ground in Afghanistan have influenced events since then. America in Afghanistan is a new, full history of US foreign policy toward Afghanistan from Bush's 'War on Terror', to Obama's war of 'Countering Violent Extremism' to Trump's war against 'Radical Islamic Terrorism'. Dorani is fluent in Pashto and Dari and uses unique and unseen Afghan source-work, published here for the first time, to understand the people in Afghanistan itself, and to answer their unanswered questions about 'real' US Afghan goals, the reasons for US failures in Afghanistan, especially its inability to improve governance and stop Pakistan, Iran and Russia from supporting the insurgency in Afghanistan, and the reasons for the bewildering changes in US Afghan policy over the course of 16 and a half years. To that end the author also assesses Presidents Karzai and Ghani's responses to Bush, Obama and Trump's policies in Afghanistan and the region. In addition, the book covers the role Afghanistan's neighbours – Russia, Iran, India, and especially Pakistan – played in America's Afghanistan War. This will be an essential book for those interested in the future of the region, and those who seek to understand its recent past.

By All Means Necessary by Elizabeth Economy

Title By All Means Necessary
Author Elizabeth Economy
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2014-03
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 279
ISBN 9780199921782
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A comprehensive account of the Chinese economy's considerable growth in recent decades traces their efforts to obtain the considerable resources needed to maintain the country's expansion, exploring how their efforts have had benefits and consequences for the rest of the world.

Cents And Sensibility by Gary Saul Morson

Title Cents and Sensibility
Author Gary Saul Morson
Publisher Princeton University Press
Release Date 2018-09-25
Category Business & Economics
Total Pages 336
ISBN 9780691183220
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In Cents and Sensibility, an eminent literary critic and a leading economist make the case that the humanities—especially the study of literature—offer economists ways to make their models more realistic, their predictions more accurate, and their policies more effective and just. Arguing that Adam Smith’s heirs include Austen, Chekhov, and Tolstoy as much as Keynes and Friedman, Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro trace the connection between Adam Smith’s great classic, The Wealth of Nations, and his less celebrated book on ethics, The Theory of Moral Sentiments. The authors contend that a few decades later, Jane Austen invented her groundbreaking method of novelistic narration in order to give life to the empathy that Smith believed essential to humanity. More than anyone, the great writers can offer economists something they need—a richer appreciation of behavior, ethics, culture, and narrative. Original, provocative, and inspiring, Cents and Sensibility demonstrates the benefits of a dialogue between economics and the humanities and also shows how looking at real-world problems can revitalize the study of literature itself. Featuring a new preface, this book brings economics back to its place in the human conversation.

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Title Mirage
Author Somaiya Daud
Publisher Flatiron Books
Release Date 2018-08-28
Category Young Adult Fiction
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9781250126443
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“A refreshing and unique coming-of-age story...a beautiful and necessary meditation on finding strength in one’s culture.” —Entertainment Weekly, Top Pick of the Month “A YA marvel that will shock breath into your lungs. If you loved The Wrath and the Dawn and Children of Blood and Bone, Mirage will captivate you.” —The Christian Science Monitor “This debut fantasy has what it takes to be the next big thing in sci-fi/fantasy.” —SLJ, starred review “Immersive, captivating.” —ALA Booklist, starred review In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home. But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place. As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection...because one wrong move could lead to her death.

Crosswinds by Fouad Ajami

Title Crosswinds
Author Fouad Ajami
Publisher Hoover Press
Release Date 2020-09-15
Category History
Total Pages 256
ISBN 9780817911768
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Fouad Ajami presents a firsthand look at the political culture in Saudi Arabia and its conduct and influence in foreign lands from the early 1990s to around 2010. From the influence of Islam in public life to Saudi rulers' attitudes toward the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, the author fills a significant gap in our understanding of that country.

Title Love and Death Among the Cheetahs
Author Rhys Bowen
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2019-08-06
Category Fiction
Total Pages 304
ISBN 9780451492869
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Georgie and Darcy are finally on their honeymoon in Kenya's Happy Valley, but murder crashes the party in this all-new installment in the New York Times bestselling series. I was so excited when Darcy announced out of the blue that we were flying to Kenya for our extended honeymoon. Now that we are here, I suspect he has actually been sent to fulfill another secret mission. I am trying very hard not to pick a fight about it, because after all, we are in paradise! Darcy finally confides that there have been robberies in London and Paris. It seems the thief was a member of the aristocracy and may have fled to Kenya. Since we are staying in the Happy Valley—the center of upper-class English life—we are well positioned to hunt for clues and ferret out possible suspects. Now that I am a sophisticated married woman, I am doing my best to sound like one. But crikey! These aristocrats are a thoroughly loathsome sort enjoying a completely decadent lifestyle filled with wild parties and rampant infidelity. And one of the leading lights in the community, Lord Cheriton, has the nerve to make a play for me. While I am on my honeymoon! Of course, I put an end to that right off. When he is found bloodied and lifeless along a lonely stretch of road, it appears he fell victim to a lion. But it seems that the Happy Valley community wants to close the case a bit too quickly. Darcy and I soon discover that there is much more than a simple robbery and an animal attack to contend with here in Kenya. Nearly everyone has a motive to want Lord Cheriton dead and some will go to great lengths to silence anyone who asks too many questions. The hunt is on! I just hope I can survive my honeymoon long enough to catch a killer. . . .

Black Wave by Kim Ghattas

Title Black Wave
Author Kim Ghattas
Publisher Henry Holt and Company
Release Date 2020-01-28
Category History
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9781250131218
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A New York Times Notable Books of 2020 “[A] sweeping and authoritative history" (The New York Times Book Review), Black Wave is an unprecedented and ambitious examination of how the modern Middle East unraveled and why it started with the pivotal year of 1979. Kim Ghattas seamlessly weaves together history, geopolitics, and culture to deliver a gripping read of the largely unexplored story of the rivalry between between Saudi Arabia and Iran, born from the sparks of the 1979 Iranian revolution and fueled by American policy. With vivid story-telling, extensive historical research and on-the-ground reporting, Ghattas dispels accepted truths about a region she calls home. She explores how Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran, once allies and twin pillars of US strategy in the region, became mortal enemies after 1979. She shows how they used and distorted religion in a competition that went well beyond geopolitics. Feeding intolerance, suppressing cultural expression, and encouraging sectarian violence from Egypt to Pakistan, the war for cultural supremacy led to Iran’s fatwa against author Salman Rushdie, the assassination of countless intellectuals, the birth of groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon, the September 11th terrorist attacks, and the rise of ISIS. Ghattas introduces us to a riveting cast of characters whose lives were upended by the geopolitical drama over four decades: from the Pakistani television anchor who defied her country’s dictator, to the Egyptian novelist thrown in jail for indecent writings all the way to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018. Black Wave is both an intimate and sweeping history of the region and will significantly alter perceptions of the Middle East.

The Twilight War by David Crist

Title The Twilight War
Author David Crist
Publisher Penguin
Release Date 2012-07-19
Category History
Total Pages 656
ISBN 9781101572344
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The dramatic secret history of our undeclared thirty-year conflict with Iran, revealing newsbreaking episodes of covert and deadly operations that brought the two nations to the brink of open war For three decades, the United States and Iran have engaged in a secret war. It is a conflict that has never been acknowledged and a story that has never been told. This surreptitious war began with the Iranian revolution and simmers today inside Iraq and in the Persian Gulf. Fights rage in the shadows, between the CIA and its network of spies and Iran's intelligence agency. Battles are fought at sea with Iranians in small speedboats attacking Western oil tankers. This conflict has frustrated five American presidents, divided administrations, and repeatedly threatened to bring the two nations into open warfare. It is a story of shocking miscalculations, bitter debates, hidden casualties, boldness, and betrayal. A senior historian for the federal government with unparalleled access to senior officials and key documents of several U.S. administrations, Crist has spent more than ten years researching and writing The Twilight War, and he breaks new ground on virtually every page. Crist describes the series of secret negotiations between Iran and the United States after 9/11, culminating in Iran's proposal for a grand bargain for peace-which the Bush administration turned down. He documents the clandestine counterattack Iran launched after America's 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which thousands of soldiers disguised as reporters, tourists, pilgrims, and aid workers toiled to change the government in Baghdad and undercut American attempts to pacify the Iraqi insurgency. And he reveals in vivid detail for the first time a number of important stories of military and intelligence operations by both sides, both successes and failures, and their typically unexpected consequences. Much has changed in the world since 1979, but Iran and America remain each other's biggest national security nightmares. "The Iran problem" is a razor-sharp briar patch that has claimed its sixth presidential victim in Barack Obama and his administration. The Twilight War adds vital new depth to our understanding of this acute dilemma it is also a thrillingly engrossing read, animated by a healthy irony about human failings in the fog of not-quite war.

Title The Rise and Fall of Al Qaeda
Author Fawaz A. Gerges
Publisher OUP USA
Release Date 2011-09-14
Category History
Total Pages 259
ISBN 9780199790654
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The author re-evaluates the threat posed by Al-Qaeda following a decade of war.

The American Black Chamber by Herbert O. Yardley

Title The American Black Chamber
Author Herbert O. Yardley
Publisher Naval Institute Press
Release Date 2013-05-11
Category History
Total Pages 424
ISBN 9781612512822
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

During the 1920s Herbert O. Yardley was chief of the first peacetime cryptanalytic organization in the United States, the ancestor of today's National Security Agency. Funded by the U.S. Army and the Department of State and working out of New York, his small and highly secret unit succeeded in breaking the diplomatic codes of several nations, including Japan. The decrypts played a critical role in U.S. diplomacy. Despite its extraordinary successes, the Black Chamber, as it came to known, was disbanded in 1929. President Hoover's new Secretary of State Henry L. Stimson refused to continue its funding with the now-famous comment, "Gentlemen do not read other people's mail." In 1931 a disappointed Yardley caused a sensation when he published this book and revealed to the world exactly what his agency had done with the secret and illegal cooperation of nearly the entire American cable industry. These revelations and Yardley's right to publish them set into motion a conflict that continues to this day: the right to freedom of expression versus national security. In addition to offering an expose on post-World War I cryptology, the book is filled with exciting stories and personalities.

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