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King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East [Format Kindle]

Jack O'Connell , Vernon Loeb

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

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.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 497 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 289 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0393063348
  • Editeur : W. W. Norton & Company (19 mai 2011)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B0051400KK
  • Synthèse vocale : Non activée
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  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°464.595 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  22 commentaires
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Excellent and revelatory book 24 novembre 2011
Par Alank - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Author Jack O'Connell used his connections as a former CIA agent and his years in the Middle East to write with a degree of behind-the-scenes knowledge that is remarkable. There is a lot of insight here of a kind that cannot readily be acquired from a distance or through standard journalism. The writing also is extremely good purely as prose, flowing along easily and vividly.

This is not a scholarly or broad history book. It is very much a memoir, one man's exceptionally knowledgeable view of many significant developments in the Mideast over the course of about half a century. To compare it to a few other books by former CIA agents, this book is wider ranging and less cautious than Bruce Riedel's excellent "The Search for Al Qaeda," and more focused and less emotional than Michael Scheuer's "Marching Toward Hell."

The relations between Jordan, Israel and the United States take center stage. The details are fascinating, to such an extent that I wondered whether this book had any trouble with the CIA possibly wanting to suppress some details. The author died before publication, but I do not know whether the author planned on posthumous publication to give himself more freedom in his writing.

O'Connell describes many of the cynicisms, misjudgments and outright stupidities of U.S. diplomacy, but his overall characterization of U.S. Mideast policy is: Whatever Israel wants, Israel gets. Whether that is a fair judgment, each reader can decide. But even a reader who feels O'Connell's judgment is skewed by fondness for King Hussein can learn a lot here.
9 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Useful, Unconventional and opinionated 18 mai 2012
Par W. Andrew Terrill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This memoir represents a pro-Jordanian outlook and a strong critique of Israeli policy. It is also critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 (now widely regarded as a strategic mistake) and more surprisingly of Operation Desert Storm in 1991 (when Saddam was a lot more dangerous). The author's approach will therefore almost certainly anger a number of readers, while others will agree with him. Under these circumstances, readers are advised to consider the book an opinionated but sincere last testament of a CIA officer who believed the United States needed to fundamentally alter its Middle Eastern policies. The remaining question is did he lose perspective on key issues and especially the nature and goals of the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq. However one answers this concern, O'Connell was definitely a part of the history that he describes, and while his views can be criticized, the importance of his vantage point makes him a valuable historical asset. Additionally, Jordan has over many years proven to be an important U.S. ally in the struggle against terrorism and other forms of violent extremism, and to this extent O'Connell was clearly correct in his analysis. For a more in depth assessment, please see my review in Middle East Journal (Winter 2012). W. Andrew Terrill, Ph.D.
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I'd recommend it for anyone already familiar with the middle east who wants some behind the scenes drama. 24 août 2014
Par Steven Beck - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
An good read from someone who had unique access to one of the middle east's most interesting and misunderstood leaders. King Hussein could have been the region's Mandela, but he was taken too soon. O'Connell has a perspective that sometimes lacks nuance when it comes to Israeli decision makers. While many of his observations are correct he doesn't take into account the domestic give and take inside Israel. Jordan largely made its decisions based on the King's will, but in Israel that wasn't the case. It might have seem that way to an outsider, but there was never the kind of consensus about the West Bank that he implies.

Overall a good read with some interesting insights. I'd recommend it for anyone already familiar with the middle east who wants some behind the scenes drama.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Insider's Perspective 25 septembre 2013
Par Pond Runner - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is an excellent read for those of us who follow the Middle East closely and are already knowledgeable about the historic occurrences described. It describes historical events from a unique perspective -- a U.S. intelligence officer with a close and confidential personal relationship with Jordan's King Husain. It provides insight available nowhere else into what Husain perceived and why he took the actions that he did. It also presents a point of view on U.S. Middle East policy that is shared by many knowledgeable observers of all nationalities but that is politically and socially taboo in the U.S.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 An American in Amman with Tantalizing Tales to Tell 20 janvier 2012
Par Scott Billigmeier - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
This is quite an interesting book and a good read although it drags a bit at the end when the author indulges himself by expounding on his own vision of how things were and should be. For an American, his perspective on the Middle East is remarkably European; that is to say fairly anti-Israel. If he is to be believed, and there are plenty of anecdotes plus some assumptive conclusions that can't be verified, his views seem well founded. With the exception of King Hussein who is largely put on a pedestal, no politician or country escapes unscathed. There is plenty here to annoy everyone but if the reader can get past that, and I recommend they do, Mr. O'Connell aptly describes a political environment that is far more complicated and duplicitous than most will have ever imagined. This unique man had very unusual access over many decades to people, places and events of great import. Reading his story is definitely worth the investment - a more nuanced understanding of the region and its recent history will likely result.
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