Inside The Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership With Saudi Arabia

Inside The Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership With Saudi Arabia

by Thomas Lippman


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780813340524
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 01/06/2004
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.22(w) x 9.24(h) x 0.96(d)

About the Author

Thomas Lippman, a respected former correspondent and bureau chief at the Washington Post, traveled with Albright for two and a half years to write this political biography. Lippman is the author of Understanding Islam , which is now in its second edition.

Table of Contents

A Note on Arabic Words and NamesIX
1The Pioneers7
2Into the Wilderness39
3Little America55
4Arabs and Attitudes71
5Funny Money97
6The Little Screen111
7Come Fly With Me123
8A Ford in Their Past137
9The American Way155
10Down on the Farm179
11Christians and Jews201
12Go Directly to Jail227
13The Cultural Divide247
14From Swords to Missiles273
15Desert Storms299
16After September 11325

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Inside the Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
jlelliott on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
rakerman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.