The Saudis Inside the Desert Kingdom eBook æ Saudis

The Saudis Inside the Desert Kingdom [PDF / EPUB] The Saudis Inside the Desert Kingdom Sandra Mackey lived in Saudi Arabia for four years and as far as the authorities knew she was simply the wife of an American doctor But she saw things and traveled to places rarely viewed by any outsi Sandra Mackey Inside the PDF/EPUB ì lived in Saudi Arabia for four years and as far as the authorities knew she was simply the wife of an American doctor But she saw things and traveled to places rarely viewed by any outsider let alone a Western woman and she succeeded in smuggling out a series of crucial articles on Saudi culture and politics The Saudis offers a fascinating portrait of Saudi life chronicling Mackey's extraordinary travels and experiences and The Saudis PDF/EPUB ² depicting Saudi Arabia's strange metamorphosis from backward desert kingdom to world power Mackey reveals the chaos of a country in transformation grappling with modernity coming to terms with its own wealth and battling to maintain an influential stance in an altogether new world This updated edition provides the essential background to the new Saudi crisis as the mother state of international terrorism.

10 thoughts on “The Saudis Inside the Desert Kingdom

  1. says:

    Lopsided depiction of life in the late 70'searly 80's Saudi Arabia written by an American woman based in Saudi for a few years Includes many historical lessons on aspects of Saudi life such as the influence of and history of Islam politics Wahabism etc but you can't help being a bit skeptical given her profound American bias For example early on in the book she says that the Saudi's hadn't yet been forced to learn English while mentioning that no one in her group had yet 'picked up' much Arabic In today's world the book is a bit dated in its attitudes but it nonetheless depicts a fascinating era in Saudi history as it opened up to Westerners since it desired to put their skills to use and import them albeit as non nationals Also her perspective as a woman in the culture is very interesting

  2. says:

    My main motivation in reading this is to better understand the country I lived in for the majority of my childhood but to also refresh my memory on my dad's behalf as he is currently working over thereSo far it's been incredibly accurate and also has cleared up some of my childhood memories where as a child I did not understand the levels of secretiveness desire to maintain tradition and adherence to religion this country is desperately pursuing I am happy that the author's tone is not bitter or angry but just eager to talk of the realities of the country when she arrived 1979 and how that still relates to this dayI am amazed at how well I adapted as a child It also helps me in understanding how my mother adapted while living there

  3. says:

    If it wasn't for the 300 pages of the 412 pages of the book the author spent rambling on and on I would have given it 5 stars but since it was far too long not that entertaining and full of the many sources that weren't her own I went with 2 Who can blame her though? From her stories it seemed like she had nothing left to do but write and write she did A LOT

  4. says:

    Interesting yet dated perspective on the somewhat modern culture I'm teaching right now with Gilgamesh

  5. says:

    This book had been sitting on my shelf for years and I almost donated it thinking it would be too outdated a history published in the mid 1980s But I'm glad I read it instead Since I started the book knowing almost nothing about Saudi Arabia I learned a lot and it piued my interest to learn Some of the straight history was a bit dense which reuired some patience to get through but was still important and worth reading The book includes no maps so I often looked up places on Google mapsThe book wasn't just a history it was also about the author's experiences in Saudi Arabia as a secret journalist There were some scary dramatic scenes that were uite hair raising The author was one brave woman She has passed away now but I would like to read of her books including the one about IranThis book has many versions on Goodreads It was hard to figure out which version was mine The closest was the paperback version with 433 pages

  6. says:

    The Saudis is a fascinating novel about the development and culture of Saudi Arabia since the oil boom I liked how descriptive Sandra Mackey was when describing the history and legacy of the leaders of Saudi Arabia how she gave clear explanations to how women and men in Saudi Arabia are supposed to behave in society and the role of westerners in modern Saudi Arabia I also liked how Sandra Mackey added in information about her personal life the reason that she and her family were living in Saudi Arabia at the time and how she goes to great lengths carefully to collect information about Saudi Arabia without triggering the authorities This is an intriguing novel for those who want to understand society in the Middle East and like to read memoirs in general

  7. says:

    When i saw this book on the shelf of a second hand book store i immediately grabbed it thinking it would be an interesting account of life in Saudi Arabia during the oil boom Instead it turned out to be pages and pages of rambling and unnecessary figures that would often than not put me to sleep The constant implication of western superiority was a bit annoying The author did share some interesting anecdotes and gave at times a good insight into the Saudis’ life and psyche and for that i am giving this book 3 stars

  8. says:

    An excellent examination of the role of Saudi Arabia in the modern world as well as illuminating the Saudi Arabian culture and psyche this book deals with the struggle between a uest for modernization and the conflicts it creates with the religious ideals of the Kingdom It also highlights the attitude of other Arab nations towards Saudi ArabiaI found myself having lots of head nodding moments as I read this book The author lived there shortly after the period when my family and I returned from our tour of duty there It was incredible how well she captured the atmosphere of chaos that seemed to reign in Riyadh in the late 70's as middle class citizens were given cars with no traffic laws to govern them or even a large enough police force to enforce what laws eventually came aboutI did laugh as I read about one law where a driver making a left turn from the right lane must yield to a driver making a left turn from the left laneShe also takes great pains to to examine the in'shallah god willing attitude that pervades the culture Much is planned but little is actually accomplished a signed contract is not a guarantee of a project beginning but a signal that negotiations so far are amenable to the Saudi's involved and true negotiations may now begin MacKey also points out that despite many other books and articles stating otherwise not all women are comfortable with the idea of change in their status In fact many pity the Western women's lack of security which theythe Saudi women are assured of from birth It brought home to me the fact that despite our having gender in common uite a few Saudi women think completely differently than Western women about autonomy and they do not necessarily envy our freedoms With freedom comes responsibilities and culturally they are very different in that respect it seems uite a few don't relish the idea of being responsible for anything other than their marital responsibilities of producing childrenI would suggest this as recommended reading for anyone entertaining the thought of going to the Kingdom for work and also their wives and daughters that may accompany them because it is instructive in the public conduct of Western women that is expected by the SaudisThere is much to this book than the above sections but I found those to be particularly educational for people of the Western world at just how completely different our cultures are

  9. says:

    When you consider what a mysterious place is you may think of several types of lands There is a place like Nepal or Timbuktu where foreign and interesting things happen far from the eyes of the West And then there are places like the old Soviet Union where the mystery is enforced by an oppressive state determined to keep the eyes of outsiders out Many people think that Saudi Arabia with its oil its royal family and its holy places would fall into the former category In The Saudis Sandra Mackey contends that Saudi Arabia is firmly in the latter campMackey is an American woman who lived in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s and early 1980s The first time that I read this book was in the mid 1990s just after the Gulf War and Mackey's narrative was uaint in the light of the fact that the world got a very good look at the Kingdom in 1990 and 1991 when Saudi Arabia was in the news every day Today it is even so as we have lived through 13 years and counting of war in the Middle East and Central Asia and Saudi Arabia is right in the thick of itMackey's narrative is not too bad Her prose is readable and she covers a lot of ground as far as Saudi history society and culture However she is hopelessly biased It is obvious that she is an outsider and is doomed to always be on the outside It's hard to write a meaningful book about a topic from which one is hopelessly detached She doesn't speak Arabic and does not understand Islam or Arab culture Her Arab contacts are few and very westernized As an American ex patriot she does not have the access to Saudi elite who control the country Saudi Arabia is a land of contraditions a place of limited freedom but unbelieveable wealth a land of fantastic shrines but also a pull toward the west The Wahabi sect of Islam leaves an indelible mark on the land It is Wahabi culture that Mackey experiences every day but the traditions of Arabia are beyond her because of her lack of Arabic or a background in IslamOverall I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in Saudi Arabia however with the caveat that the book is biased and frankly it is way outdated today It is of a look at the Saudi Arabia of 1985 than the country of today

  10. says:

    This is a good introductary or pulp nonfiction book if such a thing exists It would be a typical best seller What this book does however is introduce readers and help them to understand the complexities of Saudi Arabian politics economics and society at large Sandra Mackey gives fine minute details of how women are treated the norms of culture and traditions and the country's most powerful and lucrative export oil In terms of global economy especially for the United States a lot of power is tied to the actions of the Saudi government The book explains very successfully the purpose of the Arabian American Oil Company ARAMCO the Committee for the Protection of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice the Arabian's love of power and materialism the lifestyle of the Bedouins the Hajj all the way through to the purpose socially to the assumed sexually active Hareems The book is packed with useful information for anyone with a novice interest in the Middle East and Saudia Arabia specificallyThe author also gives a very explict and colorful portrait of the Saudi's love of camel racing The Saudis is a good source book However some of the provided information ia a little out of dateIt is still a good insightful read I would recommend Sandra Mackey's other books The Iranians and Lebanon Death of a Nation

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