Ibn Saud by Barbara Bray
The Desert Warrior Who Created the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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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 fifteen 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.

About Barbara Bray

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Barbara Bray (née Jacobs) was born on November 24, 1924 in Paddington, London. She died on February 25, 2010. Bray was an English translator and critic. She translated the correspondence of Gustave Flaubert, and work by leading French speaking writers of her own time including Marguerite Duras, Amin Maalouf, Julia Kristeva, Michel Quint, Jean Anouilh, Michel Tournier, Jean Genet, Alain Bosquet, Réjean Ducharme and Philippe Sollers. She received the PEN Translation Prize in 1986. She had a personal and professional relationship with the married Samuel Beckett that continued for the rest of his life, and Bray was one of the few people with whom he discussed his work. Bray suffered a stroke at the end of 2003, but despite this disability she continued to write Beckett's memoirs, Let Mortals Rejoice..., which she could not complete. Bray recorded some of her reflections about Beckett in a series of conversations with her friend, Marek Kedzierski, from 2004 to 2009. Excerpts have been published in many languages, but not English as of yet.
Published June 15, 2012 by Skyhorse Publishing. 608 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History. Non-fiction

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Darlow and Bray (who died in 2010) collaborate on a comprehensive history of the only man in modern times to lend his name to a country, a rebranding that marked “the beginning of a shift from being a host of separate, often competing, tribes and regions into one coherent, centrally administered ...

May 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior ...

Publishers Weekly

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TV producer Darlow and the late Bray, a BBC Radio Drama Department staffer and award-winning translator, spent decades researching Saudi history and their enigmatic subject’s place in it, and their easy familiarity with Ibn Saud’s life comes across in lively prose that captures the romance an...

Apr 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior ...

The National Interest

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Jun 28 2012 | Read Full Review of Ibn Saud: The Desert Warrior ...

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