Author-commentator on Middle Eastern politics and economics with a particular focus on Saudi Arabia.
9 books on the list
Latest Recommendations First
Discover the fascinating story of the unthinkable revolution in Iran. Charles Kurzman's book sheds light on the fall of the shah despite his powerful military and superpower support. Kurzman explores the chaos and confusion that characterized major protest movements and the unpredictability of revolutionary expectations. Through eyewitness accounts, declassified security documents, and underground pamphlets, Kurzman captures the overwhelming sense of uncertainty that gripped pre-revolutionary Iran. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the nature and evolution of the Iranian revolution and protest movements in general.
An invaluable book recommended by @ksadjadpour on the Iranian revolution of 1979 that exposes the limitations of retrospective historical analyses but also leads one to conclude that the (possible) revolution of today may have crossed the rubicon. – source
"Armies of Sand" analyzes the performance of fifteen Arab armies and air forces in various wars, examining why they consistently underperformed despite having the potential to win. Kenneth M. Pollack debunks common explanations such as reliance on Soviet doctrine and highlights the impact of underdevelopment and cultural behavior. With the Arab world and warfare changing rapidly, this book predicts potential consequences for the Middle East military balance. It's a must-read for those interested in Middle Eastern warfare history since 1945.
@crespo_911 A book every Arab senior officer should read. – source
"The Key Man" is a gripping tale of a successful business leader, Arif Naqvi, who founded a Dubai-based private-equity firm, Abraaj, and was hailed for his impact investments that made money and did good. However, investigative journalists Simon Clark and Will Louch uncovered an anonymous whistleblower's claims that Naqvi had swindled investors out of millions and offered bribes to fund his luxurious lifestyle. The book provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at the workings of the global financial elite and the efforts to clean up capital flows while opaque private equity firms continue to amass trillions of dollars. Featuring a larger-than-life cast of characters, "The Key Man" is a cautionary tale for those who believe in the myth of capitalist fairytales.
@readthistwice – source
Discover the shocking truth about Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons in this highly researched and analytical book. Delve into the Nuclear Archives to uncover Iran's secret plans and gain a deep understanding of the dangers they pose.
A must read detailed book on Iran's work in developing a capacity for nuclear weapons, its efforts to deny and camouflage this after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and its ongoing determination to reach this goal. – source
Climate change is a hot-button issue with a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding, and political agendas. In Unsettled, a distinguished scientist draws from decades of experience to provide up-to-date insights free from these biases. Steven Koonin clears away the fog and takes readers behind the headlines to the nuances of the science itself. He dispels popular myths and unveils little-known truths about climate change, explaining what the evidence suggests. From society's response to geoengineering, Koonin offers a fascinating, clear-headed, and full of surprises view of a changing climate.
Fascinating book by Obama's former science advisor that debunks the scientific certainties and alarmist conclusions about climate change and exposes how politicized and dramatized the whole subject has become. – source
Explore the vibrant entertainment industry of 1920s and '30s Cairo, where women dominated as stars, entrepreneurs, and impresarias. Raphael Cormack's Midnight in Cairo unravels the fascinating stories of independent and enterprising women who redefined modern Egyptian culture, including vaudeville star Rose al-Youssef and iconic singer Oum Kalthoum. Get swept away by an era of excess and unheard-of freedom of expression, shaped by competing values of colonialism and nationalism, conservatism and liberalism, and patriarchy and feminism.
A delightful book about an era long ago gone. The cosmopolitan culture of the Middle East because it was seen as associated with colonialism has unfortunately been extinguished over the last century – source
"The Oil Kings" by Andrew Scott Cooper sheds light on how oil shaped American foreign policy during the 1970s, a period of Cold War imperatives and crucial Middle East alliances. With access to previously classified notes and interviews, Cooper traces the political maneuvering that led the U.S. to switch from the Shah of Iran to OPEC as its primary oil supplier, which resulted in the destabilization of the Iranian economy and the establishment of a long and complex relationship with the Saudi kingdom. Revealing and informative, "The Oil Kings" is a must-read for anyone interested in the history and global impact of oil politics.
Andrew Scott Coopers book (above) is eye opening in this regard based on transcripts he discovered of discussions between Kissinger, Ardeshir Zahedi, Nixon and the Shah. Very well worth reading. – source
Discover the new rules of war in this urgent and fascinating exploration of the past, present, and future of warfare. With insights from an 82nd Airborne veteran and professor of war studies, Sean McFate delves into the principles that will permanently shape the nature of conflict. From conventional to unconventional warfare, McFate constructs the new rules for military engagement in an age of global unrest, rogue states, and climate change. Uncover the essence of war today and learn how we must fight to win.
A must read new book: "Conventional war is dying to be replaced by irregular warfare and other instruments of national power such as....... – source
Range is a must-read for anyone interested in improving their performance. David Epstein examines the world's most successful athletes, artists, musicians, inventors, forecasters and scientists and shows that generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel in complex and unpredictable fields. By cultivating inefficiency and embracing diverse experiences, people can thrive in a world where computer mastery is taking over. Epstein makes a compelling case for the importance of exploring multiple interests and juggling many passions rather than focusing on one.
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