Saturday, April 24, 2004

I will finish reviewing and proofreading the galleys of my new Saudi Arabia book this weekend. My friend Valerie--may she be blessed--will do the same this week. Hopefully, the number of errors, typos, and mistakes will be minimized. The late Edward W. Said--who very much liked my Bin Laden book--if I may immodestly tell you that--was astonished at the number of typos and errors in that book. I am usually not pleased with things I write. I also quickly get bored with what I write, and cannot re-read it. I must confess that I am rather pleased with this final product. The book should be available in a matter of weeks now. House of Saud beware. Having read the books out there on Saudi Arabia, I feel that I have something to say. The books on Saudi Arabia since Sep. 11 can be divided into two groups. The first group is by right-wing/Israelis who wish to bash Islam, Saudi Arabia, and Arabs, and those books are rather devoid of informed research. They are largely vapid polemics. The second group (like House of Bush and House of Saud or Michael Moore's) are by conspiratorial leftists who want to establish links between House of Saud, Bush family members, Bin Laden, alligators, and Charlie Manson. This group largely rehashes what is contained in the French book La guerre des Bush : Les secrets inavouables d'un conflit by Eric Laurent, which is full of mistakes and errors. He, without boring you with details, for example, claims that Bin Mahfouz family is related by marriage to Bin Laden family. That is not true, etc. I do not like the title. I only am responsible for the subtitle. I have decided to compromise on title and cover decisions, and stick to fights over substance.