A CIA station chief, later Jordan's lawyer in Washington, reveals the secret history of a lost peace.
Jack O'Connell possessed an uncanny ability to be at the center of things. On his arrival in Jordan in 1958, he unraveled a coup aimed at the young King Hussein, who would become America's most reliable Middle East ally. Over time, their bond of trust and friendship deepened.
His narrative contains secrets that will revise our understanding of the Middle East. In 1967, O'Connell tipped off Hussein that Israel would invade Egypt the next morning. Later, as Hussein's Washington counselor, O'Connell learned of Henry Kissinger's surprising role in the Yom Kippur War.
The book's leitmotif is betrayal. Hussein, the Middle East's only bona fide peacemaker, wanted simply the return of the West Bank, seized in the Six-Day War. Despite American promises, the clear directive of UN Resolution 242, and the years of secret negotiations with Israel, that never happened. Hussein's dying wish was that O'Connell tell the unknown story in this book.
©2011 The Estate of John W. O’Connell (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
The author states early on that he is trying to express King Hussein's view of the Middle East and it is pretty clear that Jack is fully co-opted into an Arab world view.
When he said Israel started the six day war without giving a single word of the causes
my guard went up.
The entire book is without balance, demonizing Israel at every opportunity and playing the US as Israel's ignorant patsy.
Worth reading? Certainly. There are some interesting insights into the CIA, parochial tunnel vision, and King Hussein as a person.
However I find it hard to believe that if we had followed Jack's sage and repeatedly offered advice we would have peace and harmony in all the Middle East today.
Jack even could have even prevented 911....
Most likely the narrator, as well as the history explored in the first half.
The first several chapters telling the story of O'Connell's years in Jordan was the highlight for me. After a while, he moves to Washington and the chapters begin telling the more recent stories of the larger middle east which we know, but with a couple events viewed through his own lens.
It wouldn't be the same without him. This was my first time hearing him, and I don't know if I could hear another book without thinking it was being read by Jack O'Connell himself.
O'Connell convincing the king not to turn to the Soviets.
I wish there were a book like this for every region in the ME to get this kind of insight on the history of other states. I just wish it were more of his personal memoir the whole way through, instead of turning into more of a history lesson later on.
Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.
I love the behind the scenes stories told by principals who had a part in that history...this is such a story. I came away with a new appreciation for the CIA and King Hussein, both acted admirably. Jack's account of the king and his role in the geopolitical landscape was revealing and enlightening. A book that certainly sheds a new light on complex issues and personalities. Well written and told.
Wonderful book. I really enjoyed every single minute of this book. Wonderful narration of history that surly help to visualize the future. Well done Mr. O'Connell!
This audio book sounds so dreadful that I couldn't even finish it. I was unable to tell if the story was interesting or not. Eric Martin's narration was monotonous and shouty.
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