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A Financial Times Book Best Book of the Year 2020.
A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year 2020.
The gripping chronicle of the rise of Saudi Arabia's secretive and mercurial new ruler.
MBS is the untold story of how one man fought his way to the summit of power in Saudi Arabia, the wealthiest country in the Middle East and a key ally of the United States. Even in his youth as an obscure prince among the vast Saudi royal family, Mohammed bin Salman nurtured sweeping ambitions to accumulate power and reshape his staunchly conservative kingdom and its interactions with the world.
He got his chance in 2015, when his father, King Salman, ascended to the throne. MBS became known as 'Mr. Everything', the young leader working to overhaul the kingdom's economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes and confront its enemies around the region, especially Iran. That vision won him fans at home and in foreign capitals, including in Washington, where President Trump embraced the prince as a key partner in his own vision for the Middle East. Over time, however, the sheen of the visionary young reformer has tarnished, leaving many wondering whether MBS is actually an aspiring dictator whose lack of experience and rash decisions are destabilising the world's most volatile region.
Based on years of reporting in and outside of Saudi Arabia and hundreds of interviews, MBS provides new insights into Saudi Arabia's catastrophic military intervention in Yemen, the bizarre kidnapping of the Lebanese prime minister and the surprise detention of hundreds of princes and businessmen in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton. And it explores one of the greatest scandals of the young prince's rise, the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by MBS’ deputies, a crime that shocked the world and shook Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Washington.
MBS is a riveting portrait of a young autocrat whose actions and obsessions will reverberate across the Middle East.
"A rare and penetrating look behind the curtain of the world’s most important family and its dangerous new leader. Ben Hubbard brings all the strands together in this absorbing biography." (Lawrence Wright)
"A devastating profile of the Saudi prince who rose rapidly to become one of the Middle East’s most powerful players - and one of the world’s most ruthless leaders. Ben Hubbard has provided a chilling and occasionally horrifying portrait of a man known world-wide simply by his initials, MBS. It’s a captivating read." (Robin Wright, author of Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion across the Islamic World)
"Saudi Arabia is testing the extremes of tradition and innovation, of half-baked visions and intensifying repression. Ben Hubbard's authoritative reporting on the inner sanctums of its society offers a perfect synthesis of journalism and area expertise: the best description we have at the moment of why things happen as they do in the Kingdom." (Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-first Century)
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- Nicole P.
Spellbounding & Informative
I was hooked from beginning to end. The authors personal experiences added extra clout and meaning. Each chapter was well written, with interesting analysis. The narrator also did a superb job! Highly recommended.