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Publisher's Summary

Former CIA operative Robert Baer examines the dangers behind America's collaboration with Saudi Arabia. Nominally based on a "harmony of interests", the Saudis sold their oil to the American government very inexpensively; what we offered in exchange has damaged our position in the Middle East and left our country vulnerable to economic and terrorist threats. Baer goes behind the scenes to show how the U.S. willingly overlooked the corruption of the Saudi royal family, its financing of violent Islamic fundamentalist groups that spread hatred of the West throughout Saudi society, and its bribery of American officials. From a close-up with a corrupt Arab family to the inside scoop on how we helped fund the Taliban, Baer shows what's at stake in our pursuit of oil.
©2003 Robert Baer; (P)2003 Books on Tape, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • B. Allen
  • Santa Barbara, CA USA
  • 09-18-04

The story behind the true US-Saudi relationship

Robert Baer's story about the inner workings of how the US and Saudi Governments do business is great listening. One of the most detailed books of how much influence the House of Saud has in this country from the author with decades of intelligence experience in the region. He describes how Saudi diplomats have unfettered access in this country to the highest levels of government. Baer describes how Saudi money buys whatever influence they want in the US. Full of insights of how the Saudi government rules and details about how the main saudi oil fields are in the Shite populated areas, but ruled by the Sunni Royal family. This book gives great insights into the Saudi-US relationship-how it started and where its going, and the politics inside the Saudi Royal family. A very well told story and a very informative book.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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We are all Ignorant

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Spread the word and sit back and listen to a Master Spy give you the information that CNN refuses to report.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Robert Baer

Have you listened to any of Robertson Dean’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

All his books

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

YEs

Any additional comments?

Great book I can't stop talking about it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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A weak book

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This was less the journalism or expose that you may hope for and more of an opportunity for the author to promote himself. The book can basically be summarized as: "Saudi Arabia, the Arab world and America have a complicated relationship. I am smarter than everyone and knew everything all along. Trust me, I was in the CIA" From there, the book is filled with self promotion, speculation presented as fact, and blanket statements clouded by historical hindsight. If you are well read or familiar with history the books treatment of history may be annoying. If you are in the intel community, Robert Baer's self serving narrative about the ignorance of others will get to you. <br/>If you want to learn about Saudi Arabia, get the excellent "Inside the Kingdom" by Robert Lacey which is much more authoritative and revealing. If you are interested in the roots of Islamic extremism and 9/11, read "The Looming Tower" by Lawrence Wright.

What didn’t you like about Robertson Dean’s performance?

Lots of bad pronunciation. Sarcastic tone matches Baer's writing style.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Robert
  • Ft. Benning, GA
  • 03-17-07

Right_On Baer

Great truth is difficult to describe and impossible to keep interesting, however Robert Baer found a way!
If you want a picture of the real world told in a spell binding way - take a listen!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A poorly written unscholarly approach

I really looked forward to listening to this book and I was really disappointed for two reasons.
First, the book is poorly written. Examples: when the author discusses the growth of certain populations, he refers to "average [rates of] screwing" to predict population growth. When complaining about officials turning a blind eye to problems, he says that they are deterimined not to rock the boat "come hell or high explosives." These examples are just the start. There are passages that are so badly written that I just cringed.
Secondly, the author describes himself at the end of the book as an "outsider" when it comes to his observations. And that's a problem. The author's assertions and conclusions may be correct, but you can't tell whether he's discussing his inside knowledge based on his CIA career, or just repreating accusations you can find anywhere. And although he may have had a distinguished CIA career (and I have no idea whether he did or not), he makes it plain through what he doesn't say about it that he was not an operative with any substantial responsibilities for dealing with oil cartel members. This problem could have been resolved to some extent by substantial references to sources which can be checked. But no such luck.
If you want to know about the oil cartel and its hold on us, I suggest looking elsewhere. This book won't fill any gaps in your ignorance. But it will strengthen your personal resolve to become a better writer.

13 of 23 people found this review helpful

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eye opening to say the least!

in light of today's headlines about the Kingdom, this book should be required reading among the average American who wants to understand the depth of collusion between our governments.

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Awesome

I highly recommend this book eye-opening very interesting story helps you understand a lot what's going on today with the Middle East and our problem with terrorism it's must've read

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Great book!

Based on my travels around the Middle East and Central Asia Robert Baeer is right on the mark.

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Good read

Very enlightening, narrator was excellent, easy to listen to. well written book. would love to have the author do another sequel.

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An excellent and revealing read

This is a very valuable work and it filled in many of the missing pieces for me in understanding the complexities of Middle Eastern politics

The book also sheds light on the depth of corruption within the U.S. State department as well as in the notorious house of Saud.

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  • AMR Professional Ltd
  • 03-21-17

Corruption must have 2 ends to work

Very informative. Nice admission for the 2 ends of corrupt dealings. I wonder who's is Devil in your mind Mr. Bear

  • Overall
  • Chris
  • 01-19-11

Fascinating

Highly recommended, I had already read the paperback and got this audiobook to remind myself of all that I had read. This is a totally engrossing account of the american relationship with Saudi Arabia. It is excellently narrated by Robertson Dean.