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Blood and Oil: Mohammed Bin Salman's Ruthless Quest for Global Power Hardcover – Illustrated, 1 September 2020
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35-year-old Mohammed bin Salman's sudden rise stunned the world. Political and business leaders such as former UK prime minister Tony Blair and WME chairman Ari Emanuel flew out to meet with the crown prince and came away convinced that his desire to reform the kingdom was sincere. He spoke passionately about bringing women into the workforce and toning down Saudi Arabia's restrictive Islamic law. He lifted the ban on women driving and explored investments in Silicon Valley.
But MBS began to betray an erratic interior beneath the polish laid on by scores of consultants and public relations experts like McKinsey & Company. The allegations of his extreme brutality and excess began to slip out, including that he ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While stamping out dissent by holding 300 people, including prominent members of the Saudi royal family, in the Ritz-Carlton hotel and elsewhere for months, he continued to exhibit his extreme wealth, including buying a $70 million chateau in Europe and one of the world's most expensive yachts. It seemed that he did not understand nor care about how the outside world would react to his displays of autocratic muscle--what mattered was the flex.
Blood and Oil is a gripping work of investigative journalism about one of the world's most decisive and dangerous new leaders. Hope and Scheck show how MBS' precipitous rise coincided with the fraying of the simple bargain that had been at the head of US-Saudi relations for more than 80 years: oil, for military protection. Caught in his net are well-known US bankers, Hollywood figures, and politicians, all eager to help the charming and crafty crown prince.
The Middle East is already a volatile region. Add to the mix an ambitious prince with extraordinary powers, hunger for lucre, a tight relationship with the White House through President Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, and an apparent willingness to break anything--and anyone--that gets in the way of his vision, and the stakes of his rise are bracing. If his bid fails, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an unstable failed state and a magnet for Islamic extremists. And if his bid to transform his country succeeds, even in part, it will have reverberations around the world.
Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award
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Blood and Oil is a fascinating glimpse into the politics of oil, and how staggering wealth and unchecked ambition created what most would consider a true monster...Blood and Oil unfolds like a fast-paced suspense thriller with the grandiosity of a Shakespearean play...an excellent read, an important book.--The Premise Pod
Blood and Oil is the fascinating and highly entertaining tale of Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power. With fly-on-the-wall reporting and palace intrigue worthy of Machiavelli, it will keep you turning the pages at a fast clip until its tragic denouement. And more importantly, it will leave you with a deep and nuanced understanding of the Crown Prince's thinking and its implications for Saudi Arabia and the entire Middle East.
--John Carreyrou, author of Bad Blood
Blood and Oil is a revelatory book that resonates with a stranger-than-fiction quality as the authors' analysis of the crown prince's brutishness, outlandishness, and reformer's mentality is as riveting as it is profound.--Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies and co-author of Barbarians at the Gate
Blood and Oil is the best book I've read about the Middle East. It gets deep into the most opaque place on earth, without a false note anywhere. Not to mention the book is a wonderfully readable page-turner, and indispensable if you want a glimpse of the future of Saudi Arabia and the world.--Robert Baer, author of See No Evil and Sleeping with the Devil
[Blood and Oil is] lively and well written, and it draws a sharp portrait of the man at its heart....Hope and Scheck have done a great deal of digging and have unearthed some eye-popping tales.--The New York Times Book Review
[A] valuable new account...an important addition to the alarming portrait of the unstable, murderous 35-year-old who rules the oil-producing kingdom.--Mondoweiss
A captivating book on the world's financial underbelly.--Corporate Compliance Insights
A crisp page-turner of a book teeming with telling detail...Blood and Oil is particularly good on the link-up between the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and Masayoshi Son of SoftBank....There is plenty more in Hope and Scheck's splendid book.--Financial Times
A fascinating look at how MBS came to power, that a lot of people didn't see coming.--Yahoo! Finance
About the Author
Justin Scheck, based in New York, has worked at the Wall Street Journal since 2007, covering white collar crime across four continents. He has been writing about Saudi Arabia since 2016. Scheck is a Pulitzer Prize finalist.