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Thicker Than Oil


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments Prologue 1: Oil, God, and Real Estate 2: Dropping Anchors in the Middle East 3: An Islamic Pope 4: Shifting Sands 5: Double, Double, Oil and Trouble 6: "A New and Glorious Chapter" 7: Mobilizing Religion 8: Begin or Reagan 9: "We Support Some, They Support Some" 10: The Cold War Ends with a Bang 11: Parting Ways 12: September 11 and Beyond 13: Reconfiguring the U.S.-Saudi Strategic Partnership Notes Selected Bibliography Index

About the Author

Rachel Bronson is Vice President of Programs and Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs. Her writings have appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Chicago Tribune. She has commented widely on foreign affairs in outlets such as NPR, CNN, The Lehrer News Hour, The Charlie Rose Show, and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.


Saudi Arabia is a major factor in developments in the Middle East and in the War on Terror. These books provide a thorough analysis of the country and of America's relationship with it. In the Balance is a collection of essays from an early 2004 conference in the Netherlands. Editors Aarts (international relations, Univ. of Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and Nonneman (international relations & Middle East politics, Univ. of Lancaster; Analyzing Middle East Foreign Policies: The Relationship with Europe) have organized the essays to complement one another in tone and content and to highlight both empirical and theoretical approaches to four main topics: ideology and change, political economy, regime and opposition politics, and external relations. Bronson (Middle East studies, Council on Foreign Relations) focuses on foreign policy, particularly the long and strong ties between Saudi Arabia and the United States. She argues that American leaders need to do more careful analysis to define common interests and work toward mutually beneficial goals. Like Aarts and Nonneman, Bronson points out the need for gradual reform in Saudi Arabia to prevent the collapse of the current regime. Both of these scholarly and balanced books address topics of vital interest and are useful for readers seeking to understand the complexities of Saudi society and U.S. interests. In the Balance is more academic and denser in tone than Thicker Than Oil, which is more accessible but equally well founded on extensive research and strong judgment on American policy and the relevant literature. Both are recommended for libraries with serious specialized and lay readers.-Elizabeth Hayford, Associated Colls. of the Midwest, Chicago Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"Rachel Bronson's Thicker than Oil: America's Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia takes on an important subject matter, the history of the U.S.--Daudi relationship, and makes an important contribution to the literature. Bronson's book is thoroughly researched, with extensive citations to diplomatic accounts, autobiographies, government documents, and intersting interviews woven into a storyboard text that is lieable and enjoyable to read."--Amy Myers Jaffe, International Journal of Middle East Studies

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