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“Revealing and impressively reported . . . House's 30-plus years' experience in one of the least accessible countries makes us see, hear, and experience Saudi Arabia like a local.”
—Tina Brown, The Daily Beast, "Favorite Books of 2012"
“A deeply reported look at an increasingly complicated and fragile society.”
—The Kansas City Star
“Very few books about Saudi Arabia will chill the reader as artfully as Karen Elliott House’s smart and eloquent On Saudi Arabia . . . straightforward and utterly trenchant . . . Provocative, rich with insight . . . a must-read.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“Drawing on thirty years of research and reporting . . . [House] skillfully unveils this inscrutable place for regional specialists and general readers alike.”
—The New York Times Book Review
“A well-written exposé . . . an unblemished and objective assessment of the Saudi worldview . . . provides creative insights into how best to engage the Saudis in a productive dialogue.”
—The Huffington Post
“Fascinating . . . House's exploration of the inner workings of Saudi society adds considerable weight to her assertions that the problems of succession, the decline of oil reserves, and a population with limited opportunities for employment or self-fulfillment are potential powder kegs . . . an important book that offers insights into the kingdom's fault lines, as well as gentle suggestions for a positive diplomacy that encourages modest reforms.”
—Rachel Newcomb, The Washington Post
“House . . . is one of the wiliest and most determined newspaperwomen of her generation . . . a gem of reporting on one of the hardest stories to crack . . . illuminating . . . masterful.”
—Seth Lipsky, The New York Sun
“Well-researched, informative . . . succeeds in capturing the diversity of Saudi society, painting a more complex picture than the caricature of oil wells and extreme wealth.”
“In her definitive book On Saudi Arabia, Karen House demonstrates an unparalleled understanding of the dynamics of Saudi society. Her extraordinary access to Saudis from all walks of life and her keen insights into the impact of Islam and the governing style of the ruling family on the lives of Saudi citizens greatly enrich the reader’s understanding of this significant Middle Eastern country.”
—Senator Susan Collins (Maine), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
“Entertaining and lucidly drawn . . . unique in that it mostly avoids the shallow analysis of instant experts, while also forgoing the jargon and sometimes incomprehensible theorizing of academic texts . . . a vivid and rarely seen picture of this closed state . . . eloquent and timely . . . Presenting these issues in a readable yet serious book is a rare feat indeed, and [House] should be commended for it.”
—The New Republic
“An engaging and lucid exploration of Saudi politics and culture . . . recommended reading for all those seeking a new perspective on one of the world’s most consequential societies.”
—Henry A. Kissinger
“The internal contradictions of a medieval theocracy in thrall to modern-day petrocapitalism give Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist House ample material . . . Illuminating . . . cogently written.”
“An incisive analysis of divisive dynamics inside the world’s most important supplier of oil. House asks hard questions about the future of Saudi Arabia.”
—Graham Allison, Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
“A new and different view of Saudi Arabia from the ground up that offers a valuable assessment of where the kingdom is and where it might go. A stimulating and worthwhile read.”
—George P Shultz
“Karen House's On Saudi Arabia is a book that future Saudi leaders should read carefully. It exposes incisively and dispassionately the social contradictions and the potential political vulnerabilities of contemporary Saudi Arabia. A timely and truly important book.”
KAREN ELLIOT HOUSE is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin. She studied and taught at Harvard University’s Institute of Politics and was a senior fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
House lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband, Peter R. Kann, and their children.