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The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Sa'ud

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  352 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
Fascinating history of the oil-rich Middle East. 16 cassettes.
Paperback, 656 pages
Published December 31st 1983 by Avon Books (first published 1981)
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Eslam Ahmed
Sep 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: السعودية
فإن شبه الجزيرة العربية تطورت تحت اليد الحازمة لهذه العائلة - آل سعود - فتحولت من كونها أكثر بلدان الشرق الأوسط تأخراً وفوضى إلى دولة يحسدها جيرانها على رفاهها النسبي واستقرارها وتطورها.

الكتاب أقل ما يقال عنه انه مجهود مستحيل، فهو يتحدث عن نشأة السعودية وبدأ من فترة كانت شبه الجزيرة العربية عبارة عن قبائل تتناحر من أجل الأرض.

تعتبر الدول السعودية الحالية هي الثالثة وبدأت في بداية القرن الماضي على يد عبدالعزيز بن عبدالرحمن بن سعود ويطلق عليه بن سعود أو الملك المؤسس، فأجداده أسسوا دولتان قبله ولكن
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فائق منيف
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
اقتباسات من الكتاب:

روبرت ليسي: الكسل والرياء والضحالة وانعدام الذوق كانت كلها رذائل زاحفة جلبتها الثروة البترولية

روبرت ليسي: يقول البدو: بادر إلى تقبيل عدوك إن لم تستطع قتله

روبرت ليسي: كان القضاء على الإخوان بمثابة علامة على أن عهد التوسع العظيم قد أوشك على الانتهاء

لورد كرو: إن ما نريده ليس جزيرة عربية موحدة بل جزيرة عربية ضعيفة ومجزأة، تنقسم إلى إمارات صغيرة تحت سيادتنا قدر الإمكان

اللورد كرزون: إن الجهود التي بذلتها بريطانيا في الخليج على مدى قرن كامل من الزمن كانت في مجموعها عملا مظفرا با
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asma Qadah
Mar 12, 2009 rated it liked it
أنهيت قراءة كتاب " المملكة " لـ روبرت ليسي والذي ذكره فؤاد الفرحان في إحدى تدويناته.. بداية الكتاب كانت عادية نوعاً ما؛ ربما لأنني كنت متلفهة للمعلومات والأحداث التي كانت تدور في تلك الفترة.. بدأها بنشأة الملك عبد العزيز (التي نعلمها جميعاً) في الصحراء ونزوح عائلته إلى الكويت وحتى تكوين المملكة وتوحيدها..

من الحقائق التي عرفتها:
- أسباب نصرة حكام الكويت آنذاك للملك عبد العزيز
- الوجود البريطاني والحماية العسكرية البريطانية للكويت!
- نشأة الفرقة الدينية أو ما تسمى بـ: هيئة الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن
...more
Libby
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Currently re-reading this book as a nighttime story to my son. He's enjoying it so far.
Karen
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
While living in Riyadh my father invited Robert Lacey (author) to our home, while he was researching for this book. Dad provided him with the genealogy of the Saudi royal family - a project he spent many years on. A book initially contracted by the royal family, but later rejected when the author included details considered ignoble by Saudi standards. It details how Saudi Arabia is unified by the great King Saud, and its emergence to modern day. A must read for anyone interested in Middle Easter ...more
Ayman
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it
كتاب يؤرخ للتاريخ السعودي من ايام الملك عبد العزيز للملك خالد عليهم رحمة الله كما لم اقرأ من قبل .. كثير من المعلومات التي نسمعها مفرقة موجودة في الكتاب مرتبة تاريخيا ٫اجدني اردد ما ذكره فؤاد الفرحان عن الكتاب الثاني
وجدت في هذا الكتاب، الكثير من المعلومات السياسية والتاريخية المهمة والنادرة عن السعودية، والتي لا أعتقد أنني كنت سأعرف عنها يوماً لولا هذا الكتاب. كثيرة جداً تلك المعلومات والقصص التي وجدتها في ثنايا) )الكتاب وتوقفت عندها مذهولاً أو معجباً أو ضاحكاً أو مصدوماً! الكاتب كان منصفاً بشك
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Jonathan
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-east
Somewhat dated as it was published in 1981, The Kingdom is a fine introduction to what life is like in Saudi Arabia and how that country came to be. It was mostly the work of one man: Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, and much of the book is about this remarkable leader. Today, it is his family that runs Saudi Arabia. Robert Lacey writes in a friendly and engaging style. A worthy addition to your shelf of books on the modern Middle East.
Olivia
Feb 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I could be a working cultural anthropologist, I would totally be all about the Arabian bedouin. In this book, Lacey does a fine job of delving into that foreign culture. He starts around 1900 with Abdul Aziz (Ibn Saud) re-taking his tribe's homeland of Riyadh and then building on his conquest to eventually unite all the tribes of Arabia to become what is now known as Saudi Arabia. This book stops with the seizure of the grand mosque in Mecca in 1979, but Lacey has written a follow-up history ...more
Aos
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: recommended
I was born in 1991, and this book is one the greatest tools that made me understand more about my country's history, most of its stories matches the ones I was told by my father and my grandparents.
الخنساء
تحدث ليسي عن شخصية الملك عبد العزيز بكثير من القصص والتفاصيل التاريخية, منها قصة النفي للكويت وبعدها فتح الرياض و القصيم, وحائل, و نشأة الأخوان, و الارطاوية, وعلاقاته بزعماء القبائل, وصراعه مع سعود الكبير, زوج أخته نورة وغيرها من التفاصيل.

أورد تصويرا لشخصيته كإنسان طبيعي من بعض مجالسه, وتفاصيل لقاءاته مع الزعماء, و وصفا لملامحه, وتعبيراته, وحتى أيامه الأخيرة بعد المرض والضعف.

لم يكن شخصية متفتحة كثيرا, مر وقت على الاستفادة من عائدات النفط في عهده, و مع ذلك لم يكن هناك تنمية!

مع كل هذا أنا معجبة به
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Fenixbird SandS
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: peace & politics middle east saudia arabia
Recommended to Fenixbird by: Found in local Bookmans's
"...The Arab concensus was that Sadat had sold out the general cause to get back his own land, for though Egypt kept Sinai at Camp David, Israel kept Jerusalem--within 2 years the Knesset was...." Pres Carter hostage crisis...good insights into HISTORY for 200+ Years!! RECENT int'l news of Saudi Arabia was certainly upsetting--laws from a different context based on a different religion...but remember our American justice system (like so many others') is but a revamp of the British legal system.. ...more
Turki Younis
May 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
يحمل الكتاب الكثير من الخيوط بداخله فكثير من القصص التي سمعناها متواترة او منقطعة السند تجدها في هذا الكتاب أستسقاها المؤرخ من أفواه الأقربين لعائلة بن سعود او منهم شخصياُ أو من مؤرخين آخرين
كتاب يأخذك في جوله غزو الملك عبدالعزيز للرياض الى عام 1981م أي قبل تولي الملك فهد للحكم فعليا.
أعتبر الكتاب هو المصر الحقيقي للتاريخ آل سعود وبعض التطورات التي حدثت في المملكة المصاحية لثورة النفط والتطور السريع
الكتاب أيضا يفصل كثيرا في شخصيا الملوك: عبدالعزيز، سعود، فيصل، خالد، وحتى فهد لدرجة كبيرة من الدقة ت
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Karl Pfeiffer
This is a fascinating book covering roughly the last 100 years of history on the Arabian peninsula, focused on the house of Sa'ud. The text offers deeper insight into the radical splinters from the larger Islamic community. Published shortly after the Iranian revolution deposed Shah Reza Pahlavi, this is both a wonderful narrative of the life of King Abdul Aziz and his descendants, as well as a book set in its time. Cold War politics are woven extensively throughout the last half of the book as ...more
Brian
Jun 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, comprehensive, and dispassionate account of the history of modern Saudi Arabia. The author doesn't seem to be pusing any particular point of view, and he's both critical and sympathetic to the ruling family of Saudi Arabia and the country as a whole. A great primer on Saudi Arabia for anyone with an interest in the region or looking to understand the "behavior" of the country.
James King
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Incredible account of the rise of Saudi Arabia and a very revealing look at the Kingdom that might dispel the biases of most westerners. The parting two or three pages is probably the best ending I have read, fantastic way to wrap up such a big story. I would love to see this book updated since it ends in the 1980's.
Jason
May 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A wonderfully informative history of the House of Sa'ud, the long history of the Wahhabi sect and the origins of Islamic Fundamentalism. Provides great insight into why the Middle East is so much more complex than the Pundits and every U.S. administration since FDR present it.
limber tender
Feb 15, 2008 rated it liked it
A great start for understanding the dynamics of mideastern politics and culture.
Conner
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
a "must read" book for anyone hoping to understand Saudi Arabia better and how it cam to be what it is today.
Anna O'Leary
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
The book is now out of print but it gives a very comprehensive account of the history of the State of Saudi Arabia.....so much so that it was banned in Saudi Arabia and became a worldwide bestseller.
Khalid
Feb 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
A must read for people who are interested in Middle East geopolitics or interested in Saudi Arabia
Kathleen McRae
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
fascinating read very crowded with facts and stories making it a slow read
Erik09
Nov 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: all
good information about east, love, trial
judy
Mar 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
A. This book is old so it won't cover recent events B. This is not a book for casual reading unless you have a facility with Arabic names. (they tend to use the same few over and over so it's hard to keep straight). C. I've owned this book for many years--and, much to my surprise, had not read it. D. I get desperate when the library is slow to fill my requests and will cannibalize my own collection. This book was perfect for my purposes. It explained how Saudi Arabia came to be and, almost at th ...more
Samuel Rogers
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This was a very informative overview of the rise of the House of Sa'ud and the creation of the modern state of Sa'udi Arabia. The author's style was informal and story-like making this presentation of history engaging. The author was clearly well-read and did a great deal of research during the process of writing this book. However, what undid the otherwise flawless presentation of the information was the author's tendency to overgeneralize Arab behaviors and habits in a way that seemed both off ...more
Britta
Dec 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books I picked up free at the Annual Library book sale. Not something I would have normally been interested in on it's own, but I am very glad I read it and found that it was actually quite fascinating. The Saud family could fit into an episode of Dynasty. Each figurehead full of contradictions and yet noble intent. The building of the Kingdom is like a fairy tale romance coupled with the cruel reality of bloodshed. Definitely worth reading. It made me realize how truly igno ...more
Harold Walker
Incredibly interesting. Since the book was written in 1981 it offers a pretty even handed account of Saudi Arabia's fascinating history, devoid of the anti-Muslim bias that is so common in the post 9/11 world. As a consequence of it's publication date the reader is left wanting the rest of the story. Fortunately Lacey has written another book called "Inside the Kingdom" which picks up where this one leaves off and brings us up to 2010. I look forward to continuing but will have to put it off for ...more
Aaron Shields
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If you care to learn about the rise of Saudi Arabia and the House of Saud, this is as great starting point. Written in 1981, this might be better than Lacey's more recent piece on the Kingdom.

Even more interesting to read this with the perspective of how the rise of terrorism in the Middle East in the past 30 years has reshaped the world.

The stuff on the discovery of oil and later formation of OPEC and the 1973 oil embargo was great.
Chris Hext
May 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Amazing till the very end when saying things like "in 2001, it's doubtful the west will be so dependent on Saudi oil" or using woefully outdated oil reserve projections. But you can't fault the book written in 81. Also a bit of an Orientalist (thanks Said) tilt for a Brit in the early 80s. But the early history of Abdulaziz reads like an adventure novel, and the history of his sons Sa'ud and Faisal was very well done. Great read.
John Devlin
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
(3.3) Just as readable and interesting as his later work. Lacey chronicles the House of Sa'ud from its Wahabbi religious routes to its true founding under Abdullah Aziz. Presenting a sympathetic look at both the religion and politics of the Kingdom through the 20th century, the book makes for a fascinating and informative read.
Joe Wall
Mar 27, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a very tedious book, but it gives westerners and those not of the Muslim Faith a perspective of the Arabian that is not often seen. I recommend this book as an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the Arab way of life and mindset...of 100 years ago, 50 years ago, 35 years ago, and quite possibly today...
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Robert Lacey is a British historian noted for his original research, which gets him close to - and often living alongside - his subjects. He is the author of numerous international bestsellers.

After writing his first works of historical biography, Robert, Earl of Essex and Sir Walter Ralegh, Robert wrote Majesty, his pioneering biography of Queen Elizabeth II. Published in 1977, Majesty remains
ack
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