This revealing account of one the world's most enigmatic and affluent ruling dynasties - by one of its own sons - is a timely argument for genuine democracy in a paradoxical society.
While Meshal Al-Sabah concedes that there are more democratic mechanisms in place in Kuwait than in other Gulf states, he maintains that the monarchy is not a genuine democracy.
Political domination by selected segments of Kuwaiti society is safeguarded through the significant distribution of oil revenues as welfare and economic benefits - effectively buying the support, acceptance or acquiescence of the Kuwaiti people.
Yet Al-Sabah also makes the case for Kuwait as a country with vast potential, in which necessary reforms from the top down can encourage more democratic and transparent government and enable Kuwait to become an example to other states in the region.
Through freedom of speech, civil rights and political accountability to weaken kleptocratic practices, Al-Sabah argues, a more equitable and successful society can be achieved. He further contends that the present generation is the first to face the imperative to improve real quality of life beyond simply raising material living standards - requiring a focus on long-term solutions to inequality and the physical and social environments.