Download The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Saud Audiobook

The Kingdom: Arabia and the House of Saud Audiobook, by Robert Lacey Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Robert Lacey Narrator: Frederick Davidson Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2018 ISBN: 9781483073644
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (151 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The Kingdom is the story of a country—a country of astonishing contrasts, where routine computer printouts open with the words “In the name of God,” where men who grew up in goat-hair tents now dominate the money markets of the world, and where murderers and adulterers are publicly executed in the street. By its own reckoning, this country is just entering the fifteenth century.

The Kingdom is also the story of a family—a family that has fought its way from poverty and obscurity into wealth and power the likes of which the world has never known, a family characterized by fierce loyalty among its members, ruthlessness toward its enemies, and dedication to one of the world’s most severe and demanding creeds.

The Kingdom is Saudi Arabia—the only country in the world to bear the name of the family that rules it.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A readable history of how Saudi Arabia was formed in the early 1900s by a man named Abd al-Aziz ibn Abd ar-Rahman ibn Faisal al-Saud (often known in the West as Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud), who reclaimed power over the region after his family had lost it in the 1700s. Lacey, who is a friend of Khashoggi’s, the disappeared journalist, threads together the story of how Abd al-Aziz built a kingdom ‘with a sword of steel and a sword of flesh.’"

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In Saudi Arabia, Robert Lacey had the kind of access most journalists only dream of.”

    David Brancaccio, American radio and television journalist

  • “[Lacey’s] grasp of Saudi thinking and purposes is most intensely felt in the final, 1973-and-after, section—where he is able to make sympathetically intelligible, even inescapable, everything from the oil boycott to the Saudis’ nonconservation of their one valuable resource, from their tolerance of internal dissidence to their outrage at the TV-film Death of a Princess.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Frederick Davidson’s well-paced, crisp and forthright reading commands the listener’s attention, and his able attempts at varied accents are welcome…The supercilious edge to his voice reiterates the patronizing and dismissive attitude of the Western superpowers towards the Sa’udis before the 1973 oil crisis.”


  • A 2018 New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of Books to Help Understand the US's Relations with Saudi Arabia

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Britta | 1/4/2014

    " This is one of those books I picked up free at the Annual Library book sale. Not something I would have normally been interested in on it's own, but I am very glad I read it and found that it was actually quite fascinating. The Saud family could fit into an episode of Dynasty. Each figurehead full of contradictions and yet noble intent. The building of the Kingdom is like a fairy tale romance coupled with the cruel reality of bloodshed. Definitely worth reading. It made me realize how truly ignorant we are here in the West about the Middle East. How can ever condescend to "help" these people when we don't have clue about their history, customs of belief systems. This book gave me a deeper understanding of the world at large and I'm glad I read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Conner | 1/3/2014

    " a "must read" book for anyone hoping to understand Saudi Arabia better and how it cam to be what it is today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karl | 12/18/2013

    " An excellent history of modern Saudi Arabia "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 7/27/2013

    " History of the royal house of Saudi Arabia. Fascinating and well written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bill | 7/3/2013

    " Amazingly detailed description of the history of theHouse of Saud. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Abdulmalik | 6/2/2013

    " a great book to describe how Saudi Arabia start from 0 till now "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 5/31/2013

    " The book is now out of print but it gives a very comprehensive account of the history of the State of Saudi much so that it was banned in Saudi Arabia and became a worldwide bestseller. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aos | 5/10/2013

    " I was born in 1991, and this book is one the greatest tools that made me understand more about my country's history, most of its stories matches the ones I was told by my father and my grandparents. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 limber | 1/7/2013

    " A great start for understanding the dynamics of mideastern politics and culture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erik09 | 12/7/2012

    " good information about east, love, trial "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khalid | 11/27/2012

    " A must read for people who are interested in Middle East geopolitics or interested in Saudi Arabia "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 11/4/2012

    " A wonderfully informative history of the House of Sa'ud, the long history of the Wahhabi sect and the origins of Islamic Fundamentalism. Provides great insight into why the Middle East is so much more complex than the Pundits and every U.S. administration since FDR present it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 11/1/2012

    " fascinating read very crowded with facts and stories making it a slow read "

About the Author

Robert Lacey is a British historian noted for his original research, which gets him close to—and often living alongside—his subjects. He is the author of twenty books, including The Year 1000, The Kingdom, and the New York Times bestsellers Majesty and Princess.

About the Narrator

Frederick Davidson (1932–2005), also known as David Case, was one of the most prolific readers in the audiobook industry, recording more than eight hundred audiobooks in his lifetime, including over two hundred for Blackstone Audio. Born in London, he trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and performed for many years in radio plays for the British Broadcasting Company before coming to America in 1976. He received AudioFile’s Golden Voice Award and numerous Earphones Awards and was nominated for a Grammy for his readings.