"From award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters Justin Scheck and Bradley Hope ... a revelatory look at the inner workings of the world's most powerful ruling family, the royal family of Saudi Arabia, revealing how a rift within that ...
Author: Bradley Hope
From award-winning Wall Street Journal reporters Justin Scheck and Bradley Hope (coauthor of Billion Dollar Whale), a revelatory look at the inner workings of the royal family of Saudi Arabia, the world's most powerful ruling clan, and how the struggle for succession produced the charismatic but ruthless Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS. Thirty-five-year-old Mohammed bin Salman's sudden rise stunned the world. Political and business leaders such as former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair and WME Chairman Ari Emmanuel flew out to meet with the crown prince and came away convinced that his desire to reform the kingdom was sincere. He spoke passionately about bringing women into the workforce and toning down Saudi Arabia's restrictive Islamic law. He lifted the ban on women driving and explored investments in Silicon Valley and the New York Times. But MBS began to betray an erratic interior beneath the polish laid on by scores of consultants and public relations experts like McKinsey & Company. The allegations of his extreme brutality and excess began to slip out, including that he ordered the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While stamping out dissent in the Saudi royal family by holding fifty-plus members in the Ritz-Carlton hotel for months, he continued to exhibit his extreme wealth, including buying a $70 million chateau in Europe and one of the world's most expensive yachts. It seemed that he did not understand nor care about how the outside world would react to his displays of autocratic muscle-what mattered was the flex. Blood and Oil is a gripping work of investigative journalism about one of the world's most decisive and dangerous new leaders. Hope and Scheck show how MBS's precipitous rise coincided with the fraying of the simple bargain that had been at the head of U.S.-Saudi relations for more than eighty years: oil in exchange for military protection. Caught in his net are well-known US bankers, Hollywood figures, and politicians, all eager to help the charming and crafty crown prince. The Middle East is already a volatile region. Add to the mix an ambitious prince with extraordinary powers, hunger for lucre, a tight relationship with the White House through President Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, and an apparent willingness to break anything--and anyone-that gets in the way of his vision, and the stakes of his rise are bracing. If his bid fails, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become an unstable failed state and a magnet for Islamic extremists. And if his bid to transform his country succeeds, even in part, it will have reverberations around the world.