Inside the Kingdom is a deep and insightful history of Saudi Arabia. Robert Lacey provides not only his outsider on the inside perspective of the kingdom but also presents a wealth of first hand accounts from everyday citizens right up to royalty.
Beginning with the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979 and ending with what the future holds for Saudi Arabia, Lacey presents a kingdom defined by its paradox. It is a modern state with extraordinary wealth and run by a royal dynasty, yet it is home to a powerful religious establishment that attempts to turn back the clock to the time of the Prophet Mohammad.
Lacey traces the development of the religious order, the interdependency of Saudi Arabia and the United States, the rise of Osama Bin Laden, and how it has all led to the current political climate. No topic is left untouched - women's rights, communism, the Gulf War, holy warriors, and Guantanamo Bay all factor into the story and Lacey does an excellent job of weaving these and other topics into the complicated society that is Saudi Arabia.
This is a substantial book that provides you with a complete understanding of how Saudi society functions, why it's citizens feel the way they do about their government and the world, and aids you in forming your views on one of the most important countries in the Muslim world.