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Publisher's Summary

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.

What members say

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  • AB
  • 05-01-15

Fantastic Memoir - Decent ME Analysis

What made the experience of listening to King's Counsel the most enjoyable?

Most likely the narrator, as well as the history explored in the first half.

What did you like best about this story?

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.

What does Eric Martin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

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.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

O'Connell convincing the king not to turn to the Soviets.

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant and intriguing insight

Any additional comments?

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Really exciting book

I’m planning to listen it more than once , it’s really interesting to know all these anecdotal evidence of the logic behind the stories of the Middle East .

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Fascinating CIA Station Chief Account

Would you consider the audio edition of King's Counsel to be better than the print version?

Did not read the print version.

What was one of the most memorable moments of King's Counsel?

The author disrupts a coup attemp against King Hussein and gets the coup plotters to sign confessions.

Have you listened to any of Eric Martin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Any additional comments?

Excellent insider account of the author's time as CIA station chief in Amman and thereafter his account of behind the scenes negotations involving the United States, Israel and Jordan. Very insightful and gripping.

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Informative & Enjoyable

A fascinating look at Jordans King Hussein from the eyes of Jack O'Connell. The narration was perfect and the book was captivating.

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Unbalanced

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....

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • AMR Professional Ltd
  • 02-13-17

Wonderful

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!

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  • møaksey
  • 10-30-16

Unlistenable.

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.