Author, lawyer and journalist Mark Weston will visit Randolph-Macon College on Wednesday,
February 25, 2009 to discuss his book, Prophets and Princes: Saudi Arabia from Muhammad
to the Present (Wiley, August 2008). Weston’s lecture will be held in the Topping
Room of Old Chapel at 6:30 p.m., followed by a book signing and reception in R-MC’s
historic Washington-Franklin Hall. Copies of the book will be available for purchase
before and after the lecture.
The book, Prophets and Princes, outlines the history of Saudi Arabia beginning with
the birth of Muhammad in 570. Weston believes history is the key to understanding
this complex country where sixty percent of Saudi Arabia’s university students are
women, yet they are not allowed to drive, work with men, or travel without a man’s
permission. He uses this outline to reveal why present day Saudi Arabia is America’s
most important ally in the Middle East despite being the birthplace of Osama Bin
Laden and many of the 9/11 hijackers. The book describes Saudi Arabia as the economic
and spiritual center of the Middle East.
Weston’s interest in the Muslim world began in 1990, when he lived in Lahore while
researching his first book, The Land and People of Pakistan (HarperCollins, December
1992). He moved to Saudi Arabia and worked as a visiting scholar at the King Faisal
Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Riyadh where he conducted research for
this book. He has also lived in Japan and authored a book about its history titled,
Giants of Japan: The Lives of Japan’s Greatest Men and Women (Kodansha, July 1999)
and recently finished a children’s book titled, Honda: The Boy Who Dreamed of Cars
( Lee & Low Books, September 2008).
Weston earned a Bachelor’s degree in history from Brown University, then spent a
year at the London School of Economics and eventually earned a law degree from the
University of Texas. He has been a lawyer for ABC Television and a journalist for
ABC News, and has written articles for The New York Times, The Washington Post and
the Los Angeles Times.
This event is free and open to the public. For updates on this and other R-MC events,
please log on to www.rmc.edu. Media interested in covering this
event should contact Anne Marie Lauranzon at 804-752-7317,