A Financial Times Book Best Book of the Year 2020 A Foreign Affairs Best Book of the Year 2020 The gripping, untold story of how Saudi Arabia’s secretive and mercurial new ruler rose to power. Even in his youth as a prince among thousands of princes, Mohammed bin Salman nurtured sweeping ambitions. He wanted power – enough of it to reshape his hyper-conservative, insular Islamic kingdom.
When his elderly father took the throne in 2015, MBS got his chance. As the hands-on-ruler, he made seismic changes, working doggedly to overhaul the kingdom’s economy, loosen its strict Islamic social codes and confront nearby enemies, especially Iran. His vision initially won fans at home and abroad as he convinced other nations that the moment had come to bet big on Saudi Arabia.
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 destabilizing the world’s most volatile region. Based on years of reporting and hundreds of covert interviews, MBS provides new insights into Saudi Arabia’s catastrophic military intervention in Yemen, the bizarre detention of the Lebanese prime minister, the surprise arrest of hundreds of princes and businessmen, and the greatest scandal of the young prince’s rise: the brutal murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi state officials with links to MBS – a crime that shocked the world. A riveting portrait of a determined autocrat on the rise, MBS asks how one man’s actions and obsessions are shaking the Middle East.