The Way of Saudi Arabia


256 Pages, 5.5 x 8.5

Formats: Hardcover, ebook: EPUB, ebook: PDF, Mobipocket

Hardcover, $24.95 (US $24.95) (CA $33.95)

Publication Date: September 2020

ISBN 9780817911744


eBook Editions Available

Will it work on my eReader?
Price: $24.95


Saudi Arabia has always held some mystery to Westerners. Writing in 2010 and looking back over two decades, the late Fouad Ajami provides deeper insight into the political culture on the Arabian Peninsula, presenting a firsthand look at Saudi Arabia’s leadership, its rival factions, and its conduct and influence in foreign lands. From the influence of Islam in public life to Saudi rulers’ attitudes toward the George W. Bush and Obama administrations, the author fills a significant gap in our understanding of that country.During the course of those two decades, Ajami gained access to Saudis from all walks of life. In these pages he reveals, largely in their own words, their true feelings on a broad range of subjects. He also draws from a new wave of Saudi literature, revealing works of fiction and biography that afford us a fresh view of the Saudi reality. In addition, he conveys the thoughts of the bloggers, with all their verve, irreverence, and immediacy, providing a window into the world of the skeptics and the modernists in that land.


"A unique combination of research, reportage, and commentary leavened with deep cultural insights of Saudi society." —Karen Elliott House, author of On Saudi Arabia, Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines and Future

"Shows readers the way to think about the region and develop policies that clear a path toward a better future for its long suffering peoples." —H. R. McMaster, author of Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World

"Superbly written, impeccably researched, and enlivened by Ajami's own wide travels in the Middle East." —Victor Davis Hanson, Hoover Institution

"A magisterial account of the dramatic encounter between religious faith and state power." —Russell A. Berman, Stanford University and Hoover Institution

"[Ajami's] socially astute, politically savvy book leaves us with a more nuanced view of the kingdom's evolution and of its causes, some of which can be traced to our doorstep." —The Wall Street Journal

Author Biography

Fouad Ajami (1945–2014) was director of Middle East Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and a senior fellow and cochair of the Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.