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Inside the Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Both well written and well documented, this book provides a basic history of the US-Saudi Relationship, a relationship that basically spans the existence of the country. A sizable chunk of the book deals with the oil industry and this section of the book is especially illuminating, as foreign companies and governments behaved very differently in Saudi Arabia than in neighboring countries. The analysis of the oil industry¿s comportment in Saudi Arabia would have seemed almost too rosy to me, but I have read similar accounts from several others sources. Although the United States has dealt much more fairly with Saudi Arabia than with many other countries, this book left me somewhat depressed. It brings up so many compelling questions: Is it right for the US to deal with a government that is both non-democratic and sometimes downright repressive? Was there a way for this wealthy though sparsely populated country to protect itself without US involvement? Do the huge levels of unemployment breed fundamentalism in this wealthy country as poverty and class disparity seem to in poorer countries? I could go on. Lippman¿s book doesn¿t provide the answers; it is much more history than current analysis or policy-suggestion, but certainly worth reading for inspiring such reflection.
I bought this book in an attempt to understand more about Saudi Arabia, but it didn't help. A more accurate title would be Aramco: Outside the Mirage, as the book is mostly about how the American oil company blithely set up the entire country.