Amid the plethora of works about Arabia and the Arabs written by European ‘experts’, here at last is a book which gives a Saudi Arabian’s view of his country’s’ recent past. A unique ‘insider’s’ view of Arabia, it is full of humour, anecdote and reminiscence. Mohammed Almana unfolds for Western eyes the remarkable career of Saudi Arabia’s founder. His story covers the capture of Riyadh from the Saud family’s greatest rivals, the Rashids, and the eventual defeat of Al Rashid at the battle of Rowdhat Muhanna; the elimination of Ibn Bijad and the redoubtable Faisal Ad-Dawish, Ibn Saud’s most implacable enemies; the incorporation of the provinces of Asir and Hejaz into the kingdom; and the rise, rebellion and eventual defeat of the puritanical Ikhwan tribesmen. He describes life with the King’s Bedouin warriors and the intricacies of the Arabian tribal system; the confrontation with Imam Yahya of the Yemen; and finally the start of oil exploration, which was to transform the country. There are also chapters on daily life at the Court, the outstanding Court personalities of the time and the celebrated explorer, Harry St John Philby. The author concludes with his own account of the King’s character and achievements. This revised and expanded version follows the success of the first edition. There have since been editions in Arabic and Urdu. An accurate and personal record, Arabia Unified is essential reading for all who wish to penetrate the myths and misconceptions surrounding the rulers of one of the richest countries of the world.