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Delaware native, retired diplomat pens new book on Saudi-U.S. relations

Delaware native and retired diplomat David Rundell has written a new book.

A Delaware native’s new book on Saudi Arabia is out.


Retired diplomat David Rundell, joins Delaware Public Media’s Kelli Steele to discuss Vision or Mirage: Saudi Arabia at the Crossroads



Rundell is one of the nation’s leading experts on Saudi Arabia, where he lived for 15 years.

He says his book offers an in-depth study of the rapidly changing socio-economic landscape of that country.

“The book, which exists today, is really an effort to explain a country which is very important, but also very poorly understood to the American public,” Rundell said.

Rundell, who now lives in Dubai, says Saudi Arabia holds a unique place on the world stage.


“Saudi Arabia is an extremely unusual place. It’s a strange place. You could even argue that it’s a weird place," said Rundell. It’s the last strategically important monarchy in the world. It’s economy is very odd, because in most countries - certainly in the United States - the living standard of the people is directly related to their productivity.” 


Rundellsays in Saudi Arabia - the two are divorce, with Saudis having a much higher standard of living than their productivity would suggest because so much wealth flows from the country’s oil.

Rundell spent 30 years as an American diplomat in Bahrain, Saudia Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).  


Readers can purchase the book on Amazon.


Delaware Public Media' s arts coverage is made possible, in part, by support from the Delaware Division of the Arts, a state agency dedicated to nurturing and supporting the arts in Delaware, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.


Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.