Inside the Kingdom, By Robert Lacey

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The Independent Culture

In 1979, Robert Lacey moved to Saudi Arabia with his family to research what would, eighteen months later, become the famously banned book, The Kingdom.

Now, he provides a sequel with its cool reflections on 11 September, locating the geographic nerve centre of international Jihad to the Kingdom, and describing the internal power struggle between its (more) moderate kings, and religious hardliners which led to the penetration of Wahabi Islam into the fabric of government.

What is marked in this study is the reluctance to reach a tidy or damning conclusion. It provides a patchwork of fascinating voices from women to reformed Jihadis. Ironically, it has not escaped a distribution ban inside the kingdom.