Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray, Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2012), 608 pp., $29.95.
HE WAS a giant, physically and politically. He was an extraordinary leader who took the bedouin ethos and wrapped it in the puritanical sect of Wahhabi Islam. He was the legendary Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud, who in the first quarter of the twentieth century linked together the disparate tribes of the Arabian Peninsula to create the country of Saudi Arabia.
Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray have collected the facts, assembled the myths and illuminated the mysteries of this man, pulling it all into a compelling biography titled Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The book presents a vivid portrait of a leader who rose out of the wilderness of central Arabia to reign over a frail state to which Westerners today, whether they know it or not, owe a measure of their lifestyle and security.