• Ibn Saud

  • The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • By: Michael Darlow, Barbara Bray
  • Narrated by: Brian Bascle
  • Length: 21 hrs and 52 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (345 ratings)

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Ibn Saud  By  cover art

Ibn Saud

By: Michael Darlow, Barbara Bray
Narrated by: Brian Bascle
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Editorial reviews

In the early years of the 20th century, the Arabian Peninsula was populated by loosely affiliated Bedouin tribes living as they had for millennia, with no central power and great vulnerability to the rapidly modernizing world around them. Into this desert land was born a boy the world would come to know as Ibn Saud, or King Abdulaziz, who established the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 1932 and whose lineage hold the throne to this day.

Performed by Brian Bascle, Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray’s engaging, thorough, and decades-in-the-making biography of this mysterious and important ruler cover Saud’s life from his early years as a desert warrior to his overseeing of the oil boom that elevated his kingdom to the powerful position it holds today.

Publisher's summary

Ibn Saud grew to manhood living the harsh traditional life of the desert nomad, a life that had changed little since the days of Abraham. Equipped with immense physical courage, he fought and won, often with weapons and tactics not unlike those employed by the ancient Assyrians, a series of astonishing military victories over a succession of enemies much more powerful than himself. Over the same period, he transformed himself from a minor sheikh into a revered king and elder statesman, courted by world leaders such as Churchill and Roosevelt. A passionate lover of women, Ibn Saud took many wives, had numerous concubines, and fathered almost one hundred children. Yet he remained an unswerving and devout Muslim, described by one who knew him well at the time of his death in 1953 as “probably the greatest Arab since the Prophet Muhammad.” Saudi Arabia, the country Ibn Saud created, is a staunch ally of the West, but it is also the birthplace of Osama bin Laden and 15 of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers. Saud’s kingdom, as it now stands, has survived the vicissitudes of time and become an invaluable player on the world’s political stage.

©2010, 2012 Michael Darlow and Barbara Bray. First published in the UK by Quartet Ltd. (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

“An entertainingly exhaustive, though imperfect, biography of an inscrutable monarch.” ( Kirkus Review)
“ Darlow and Bray convey the essence of the man as well as the stark, unforgiving landscape that he mastered while forging a nation.” (Jay Freeman, Booklist)
“All in all a successful narrative, though overlong on military exploits and personal vignettes and short on analysis of the massive changes in Arabian society.” ( Publishers Weekly)

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