The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has always been a marriage of convenience, not affection. In a bargain cemented by President Roosevelt and Saudi Arabia’s founding king in 1945, Americans gained access to Saudi oil, and the Saudis sent the dollars back with purchases of American planes, American weapons, American construction projects and American know-how that brought them modernization, education and security. The marriage has suited both sides. But how long can it last? In Inside the Mirage , veteran Middle East journalist Thomas W. Lippman shows that behind the official proclamations of friendship and alliance lies a complex relationship that has often been strained by the mutual aversion of two very different societies. Today the U.S.-Saudi partnership faces its greatest challenge as younger Saudis less enamored of America rise to prominence and Americans, scorched by Saudi-based terrorism, question the value of their ties to the desert kingdom. With so much at stake for the entire, ever-volatile Middle East, this compelling and absolutely necessary account brings the light of new research onto the relationship between these two countries and the future of their partnership.