Saudi, Inc. tells the history of Saudi Arabia through the central character of Aramco. The story starts with Saudi Arabia’s founder, Abdul Aziz, a refugee embarking on a daring gambit to reconquer his family’s ancestral home, the mud-walled city of Riyadh. It takes readers almost to present day, when the multinational oil business has made al Saud the wealthiest family in the world. Now al Saud and its family business, Aramco, are embarking on their most ambitious move: taking the company public and preparing the country for the next generation.
“The U.S.–Saudi relationship is both critically important to both countries and fraught with contradictions. In this incisive and briskly readable study, Ellen Wald skillfully traces the evolution of that relationship from its earliest days down to the present. Saudi, Inc. is an important and timely book.”
-Andrew J. Bacevich, historian & bestselling author of America’s War for the Greater Middle East
“Well-written and well-researched, Wald’s book is crucial reading for understanding Saudi Arabia… A timely masterpiece.”
-Steve Forbes, Chairman & Editor-in-Chief of Forbes
“Saudi, Inc. should be mandatory reading for anyone planning to do business in Saudi Arabia… Ellen Wald has done a masterful job of taking you inside the boardrooms and the royal chambers, the competing interests and personalities. She captures the vast scope of history [and] brings alive the interplay among the al Saud family, the tribes, the religious community and culture. Those who may think the Saudis were ill equipped to deal with the modern world are likely to walk away rethinking facile assumptions. Wald chronicles the skill in which the Saudis outmaneuvered everyone, especially the large U.S. corporate enterprises. A necessary read for all those venturing to the Gulf.”
-James B. Smith, U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, 2009-2013