Friday, November 11, 2011

Ibn Saud: King by Conquest

This book provides an excellent account of the individual
driving force behind the creation of Saudi Arabia. Almost
certainly, it is the very best biography of Ibn Saud that
we will ever have. John P. Jones, author and critic
Riyadh: January 16th, 1902. A 23 year-old prince leads a handful of men to reclaim his father's kingdom from the oppressive reign of the Al Rashid and their overseer, Ajlan. Hours later Ajlan is dead and Ibn Saud, flushed with victory, struts the battlements of the Mismak fortress shouting to the people in the street below, "Who is on my side? Who? Your own prince is with you again!" 
     So begins this masterful biography of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud: visionary, warrior, and founding father. A man who imposed his will on the Arabian peninsula to transform Saudi Arabia into a global power. Ibn Saud's life story reads like an adventure novel, but it is absolutely true.