MBS: The Rise to Power of Mohammed bin Salman
By Ben Hubbard
Published in March 2020
Thibault’s Score: 4/5
This is a fascinating account of how Mohammed bin Salman came to power.
The writing style is great. It is very clear, and has this no-BS way of describing what happened and why. It has just the perfect amount of human drama; neither too much nor too little. I love the descriptions of places, people, and events.
MBS is a fascinating figure. Hubbard criticizes his free market economic policies and authoritarianism; however he praises his secularism. Hubbard writes from a Western liberal perspective. Western liberalism cannot understand figures like Deng Xiaoping, Lee Kuan Yew, or Pinochet. He doesn’t understand how MBS can be both fighting corruption and promoting free market capitalism.
This book will make a lot of sense to people who have seen past figures like MBS at work. Students of history will appreciate it. If you just are someone who is obsessed with the news cycle and lacks historical introspection, then this book will not make any sense.
While the book is well written, you better read it fast. It will become obsolete very quickly.
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