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Arabian Knight
Arabian Knight

Arabian Knight

Colonel Bill Eddy USMC and the Rise of American Power in the Middle East


352 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $25.95 (US $25.95) (CA $28.95)

Publication Date: September 2008

ISBN 9780970115720

Rights: WOR

Selwa Press (Sep 2008)

Price: $25.95


"Bill Eddy was probably the nearest thing that the United States has had to a Lawrence of Arabia." —Philip J. Barnum, the Department of State in the Middle East

Examining his roles as warrior, scholar, spy master, and diplomat, this chronicle of Colonel Bill Eddy’s life details the origin and early development of the U.S.-Saudi diplomatic relationship and its implications on present-day Middle East policy. From his birth in the Presbyterian missionary community in Lebanon to his service in intelligence operations in World Wars I and II to his involvement in academia and his close friendship with Abdul Aziz ibn Saud—the founding king of Saudi Arabia—this narrative traces the unheralded Marine Corps officer’s intimate ties with the Arab world and his unending dedication to promoting good relations between America and the Middle East.


Winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award for biography, presented by the Independent Book Publishers Association

"Mr. Lippman has a nose for the political nuances of the region and a good eye for detail. Noting that Saudis play chess without the bishop or the queen—for which they substitute an elephant and a vizier—he comments wryly: 'No Christians or women were going to be checkmating any king in Abdel Aziz's Saudi Arabia.'" —The Economist

"Eddy, an intellectual man of action . . . was not one to mince words. With a powerful voice and rugged physique, he was an intimidating figure who did not suffer fools well." —Colonel Dick Camp USMC (Ret.), coauthor, Lima-6

"[Eddy] was a daredevil, who loved nothing better than to stalk German sentries in Indian fashion and steal close to their lines. The Marine service has always attracted men of this type." —Leatherneck

"Thomas Lippman gives us a fascinating book on a little-known officer that should prove useful to U.S. diplomats and military leaders in the daunting years ahead." —Proceedings and Naval History

"Taut and graceful, this book should be read for its mixture of 20th century history and current Middle Eastern insights by all professionally minded Marines, regardless of rank." —Quantico Sentry

"This exceptional biography of a little-known hero of the Corps is a must-read for those who want to understand the roots of our relations in this troubled part of the world and the effect one remarkable individual had in building them." —General Anthony C. Zinni USMC (Ret.), author, A General Speaks Out

Author Biography

Thomas W. Lippman is an author and journalist who has specialized in Middle Eastern affairs and American foreign policy for more three decades. He is the author of Egypt After Nasser, Inside the Mirage, Madeleine Albright and the New American Diplomacy, and Understanding Islam. A former Middle East bureau chief and oil and energy reporter for The Washington Post, he has appeared on C-SPAN, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and National Public Radio. He lives in Washington, DC.