Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman’s Ruthless Quest for Global Power

Bradley Hope and Justin Scheck. Hachette, $29 (368p) ISBN 978-0-306-84666-3
Wall Street Journal investigative reporters Hope (coauthor, Billion Dollar Whale) and Scheck take a comprehensive and alarming look at Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, popularly known as MBS, who has combined efforts to modernize his country with repressive tactics and alleged murder. The seventh son of King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, MBS was appointed defense minister when his father took the throne in 2015, and began consolidating control over much of the government. His innovations, including expanded rights for women and the country’s first movie theater, caught the attention of Western politicians and investors, but some bigger projects, including Neom, a city intended to feature flying cars, have failed to get off the ground. In 2017, MBS launched a series of high-profile arrests that were widely condemned outside Saudi Arabia, and was responsible, according to the authors, for the confinement and forced November 2017 resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (who rescinded the resignation a month later). MBS’s alleged culpability in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 has brought further outcry, though the Trump administration, the authors note, has deemed MBS too important to sever ties with. Readers who closely follow the Middle East will find much of the information familiar, but Hope and Scheck marshal their research into a page-turning narrative that persuasively casts MBS as a grave danger to the region. This detailed exposé rings true. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 08/24/2020
Release date: 09/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-1-5491-0700-9
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