The New Great Game: Blood and Oil in Central Asia by Lutz Kleveman

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The Caspian Region, lying south of Russia, west of China and north of Afghanistan, contains the world’s largest untapped oil and gas resources. In the years between the death of the Soviet Union and September 11, 2001, oil companies and politicians have struggled to possess and develop these resources. Using a concept immortalised by Kipling in his novel Kim, Lutz Kleveman argues that there is now a new ‘Great Game’ in the region, in which the US, Russia, China, India, Pakistan and Iran – most of which are nuclear powers – are competing.. Kleveman has produced an insightful and exacting portrait of a new theatre of war, a region in which there are few rules and in which the rewards for victory are nothing less than power and prosperity in the new century.

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Inside the Kingdom by Robert Lacey

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Saudi Arabia is a country defined by paradox: it sits atop some of the richest oil deposits in the world, and yet the country’s roiling disaffection produced sixteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. It is a modern state, driven by contemporary technology, and yet its powerful religious establishment would have its customs and practices rolled back to match those of the Prophet Muhammed over a thousand years ago. In a world where events in the Middle East continue to have geopolitical consequences far beyond the region’s boundaries, an understanding of this complex nation is essential.
With Inside the Kingdom, British journalist and bestselling author Robert Lacey has given us one of the most penetrating and insightful looks at Saudi Arabia ever produced. More than twenty years after he first moved to the country to write about the Saudis at the end of the oil boom, Lacey has returned to find out how the consequences of the boom produced a society at war with itself.
Filled with stories told by a broad range of Saudis, from high princes and ambassadors to men and women on the street, Inside the Kingdom is in many ways the story of the Saudis in their own words.

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