Yamani: The Inside Story

Jeffrey Robinson, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $19.95 (302p) ISBN 978-0-87113-323-6
This biography of Saudi Arabia's Western-educated petroleum minister during 25 years of oil-industry boom and bust clarifies some mysteries of recent history. In crisp, straightforward sentences (``With their commercial interests on the line the four Aramco partners . . . started to sweat.''), Robinson ( The Minus Millionaires ) describes how Ahmed Zaki Yamani's close relationship with King Faisal, and his own urbane intelligence, made him the dominant industry figure worldwide as the oil business weathered Arab-Israeli wars, Iran's revolution and the gaspump-panic shortages and ensuing oil-glut market collapse brought on by OPEC, the producing nations' fractious pricing cartel. Faisal's assassination in Yamani's presence in 1975, and the subsequent kidnapping of the oil minister by terrorists 11 years later, add high drama to a saga that ends with Yamani's dismissal. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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