No one can write a book, even of this modest length, about a country without drawing on the work of those who have walked the ground before. While my own all too short stay in Saudi Arabia was a crowded one, as my notebooks still testify, I have had, perforce, to read a great deal subsequently to make more sense of my first impressions. The nearly fifty books I found most useful follow, listed in alphabetical order by author. But some books are more useful than others to the general reader. For example, if you want a readable and panoramic view of change and progress in the Arab world David Holden’s Farewell to Arabia is still, to my mind, a classic piece of journalism. Needless to say, his chapter on ‘The Challenge of Darhan’ was one I read a number of times as I came to write my own book. H. V. F. Winstone’s Captain Shakespear is a good introduction to the early world of Saudi Arabia in the 20th century. It’s more than just a biography of an extraordinary man, it’s an evocative description of life in its traditional guise in the deserts of Arabia. Michael Field’s One Hundred Million Dollars a Day has become a minor classic of investigative reporting, detailing as he does the uses—and sometimes abuses—of the massive amount of wealth that has been transferred from the West to the oil powers in so short a time.