The History of Saudi Arabia

Front Cover
Saqi Books, 1998 - History - 576 pages
Recipient of the CHOICE 1999 Outstanding Academic title

Among the numerous publications on the history of the Arabian peninsula, The History of Saudi Arabia is unique in its comprehensive coverage of the evolution of the socio-political structure of Saudi society during the 250 years of its existence.

Among the vast array of topics, the author studies the movement of the Wahhabi religious reformers, who call themselves muwahhidun (believers in one God), the various stages of development of the Saudi state, the role of the 'oil factor' in the transformation of Saudi society, the appearance of frequently conflictual new classes and social groups, and Saudi Arabia's role in the international arena.

The book is based on a wealth of sources: Arab texts (including many original Arabian chronicles) by both protagonists and antagonists of the Saudi dynasty and the Wahhabis; accounts by European travellers, diplomats, scholars and intelligence officers from the eighteenth to the twentieth century; the documents and publications of the British administration in India; twentieth-century Arabic sources, including not only official Saudi publications but also accounts by participants in the formative events described; works by prominent east European academics that have previously been unavailable in English; US publications; and Russian sources, including the previously untapped riches of the Russian archives.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


A Note on the Spelling and Transliteration System
The Rise of the First Saudi State 17451811
The Social and Political System of the Emirate of alDiriya

12 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1998)

Alexei Vassiliev is a Russian scholar and writer whose professional career has focused on the Arab world. He was Middle East correspondent for Pravda for more than ten years and is the author of numerous books and articles. He was appointed director of the prestigious Institute of African Studies of the Russian Academy in 1992. As a political adviser he participated in the Gorbachev­Bush summit in Malta in 1989 and in Prime Minister Chernomyrdin's delegation to the Gulf countries in 1994. He is a member of the Russian Foreign Ministry's advisory group.

Bibliographic information