From the dramatic rise in oil prices to the rights of women--an updated look at the history and developments of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is a country in transition, slowly but steadily changing from within and increasingly flexing its muscle and influence regionally. The country has entered the new century as a pivotal regional power. As the birthplace of Islam, it remains a powerful moral leader of the Muslim world, yet it still faces challenges. From Saudi Arabia's pre-Islamic history to the events of today, A Brief History of Saudi Arabia, Second Edition offers a balanced, informative perspective on the country's long history. Complete with black-and-white illustrations, maps, charts, a chronology, and basic facts, this comprehensive overview of the history of Saudi Arabia places the political, economic, and cultural events of today into a broad historical context.