This is an environmental and political history of Saudi Arabia, revealing the power of the environment to shape and influence the political state. Jones traces the modernization of the Saudi state and its rich oil reserves that were developed with the help of U.S. expertise and a technocratic elite who managed not only the vast oil reserves and water supplies but also the growth of political institutions. From the time oil was discovered in the 1930s, its control has been at the center of Saudi political authority and of the modern state. In addition the state quickly learned to exploit access to water as a means of controlling the population. Jones demonstrates the power of the Saudi environment to influence its modern political institutions and ideologies over the last eighty years. It is a fascinating story that helps explain not only how the Saudi state was transformed but also how the U.S. was inextricably involved in its technological and political modernization from the beginning.
Subjects: History, Political Science, Sociology
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