Robert Vitalis


Robert Vitalis is author of America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier (Stanford, 2006).

Articles by this Author
Thinner Than Air

Rachel Bronson, Thicker Than Oil: America’s Uneasy Partnership with Saudi Arabia (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006)

Pitching the Princes

Robert Lacey, Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia (Viking, 2009).

The Closing of the Arabian Frontier and the Future of Saudi-American Relations

Gun Belt in the Beltway

On August 22 and 23, 1993, Saudi Arabia’s finances received rare front-page coverage in the New York Times, inaugurating a period of hand wringing inside the Beltway and among the academy’s consulting class over the kingdom...

The Middle East on the Edge of the Pleasure Periphery

Thomas Cook and Sons’ first tour excursions in 1841 mark the birth of a global industry, in a decade that also included the founding of the Cunard Lines and the Wells Fargo successor, American Express. Cook began to internationalize its...

The Democratization Industry and the Limits of the New Intervention

In the wake of the Gulf war, the question of democracy in the Middle East has finally caught up with Washington, but in ways that reinforce dominant strains of Cold War thought and action. Witness the regular depiction of Islam and Islamist...

Beinin and Lockman, Workers on the Nile

Joel Beinin and Zachary Lockman, Workers on the Nile: Nationalism, Communism, Islam and the Egyptian Working Class, 1882-1954 (Princeton, 1987).

Egypt's Infitah Bourgeoisie

A recent story illustrates the political power of the bourgeoisie in contemporary Egypt: At the beginning of 1985, the Egyptian minister of economy, Mustafa al-Sa‘id, unveiled a set of new trade and banking laws. They aimed, among other...