Inside the Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership With Saudi Arabia

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Inside the Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership With Saudi Arabia

By Thomas W. Lippman
Westview Press, 2003
400 pp. $27.50
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Lippman tracks the evolution of U.S.-Saudi relations by stringing together smaller stories: the pioneering American oilmen in the 1930s, the garrison-like life in what became Aramco, the U.S. role in developing Saudi Arabia Airlines, the always tense relations between non-Muslim Americans and the Saudi state and society, the Americans who helped develop Saudi national parks. In the final few chapters, he discusses the strategic ties between the United States and Saudi Arabia, especially since the stationing of U.S. troops there in the Persian Gulf War. Lippman's approach works: his account is readable and informative, combining the seemingly disjointed stories into a balanced account of this long-term relationship between two such different states and societies.