`This stirring tale shows how the entire Saudi government is derived from the biological seed of one man; that was its strength, but is certain before long to become its weakness. A fine, authoritative biography...' - Independent on Sunday This biography is the first in English for 30 years. It re-examines the life of a curiously neglected but important figure in twentieth-century history, Ibn Saud, the founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The author uses his knowledge of Arabic and of the Arabian Peninsula to fill the many gaps in existing accounts. This is a clear account with much new detail on the many dramatic episodes in the life of Ibn Saud, from the flight of his family from Riyadh into exile in Kuwait just 100 years ago, through his daring recapture of Riyadh in 1902, the expulsion of the Turks, the capture of the Holy Cities of Islam, the discovery of oil and the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.