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Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril Hardcover – February 22, 2011


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Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril + King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; First Edition edition (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021710
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #568,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Jordan has not escaped dissent but Abdullah has also shown a quicker understanding of what has been required in the short term... But the long term problems remain: a small state with a $20bn debt and a population where six decades of Palestinian refugee immigration has made the ruling Bedouin families who control the military almost a minority. The king, again, does not shrink from these problems and the need to tackle them... This first effort is well and colourfully written... I look forward to more books, hopefully outlining how he and his nation found a peaceful middle way out of this year of Arab unrest -- Alasdair Buchan Diplomat --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

King Abdullah II spent his formative years in the United States, where he went to Eaglebrook and Deerfield, and in England, where he trained to be an officer at Sandhurst. A cavalry officer in the Jordanian army, he eventually became commander of the Jordanian Special Forces, a position that allowed him to forge invaluable relationships with intelligence and military offices around the world. The head of the Hashemite family, he is a forty-third generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad. His family ruled the holy city of Mecca for more than eight hundred years and his great-grandfather led the Arab revolt for independence from Ottoman rule.

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Customer Reviews

We need to hear about, and read, this book.
Ann Lee
This book by Jordan's King Abdullah provides valuable insight into the thinking of one of the Middle East's most progressive and moderate leaders.
W. Andrew Terrill
King Abdullah presents a good picture of his father's King Hussein, reign, as well as of his childhood and schoolboy years.
bjaner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Randy on March 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Folks, as I write this Tunisia & Egypt have been in revolution, and Libya is in flames. If you're looking at all of this from the West, you can only shake your head and wonder where it's all going, when you pile this on top of Iraq, Iran & Israel/Palestine. With this backdrop, King Abdullah II of Jordan has stepped into the breech as a moderate and thoughtful Middle Eastern leader, hoping to stem the tide of change into productive ways that will benefit all sides, and keep the region from going up in flames. He was interviewed at length on the Jon Stewart Daily Show Sept 2010, and those clips are easily available. Your jaw will drop in listening to someone calmly and thoughtfully discussing the problems that face everyone there, without being dragged down into polemic or shortcuts. His young UN Ambassador was just interviewed in February 2011; again, clips are on the Stewart site. King Abdullah II is Western-educated, but sensitive to all of the various needs. This guy is a player, and he is someone we should all be aware of. I think we will all be better off with him in the discussion of things. He brings credibility. Read. This. Book.
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40 of 50 people found the following review helpful By H. Madi on February 27, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just finished reading it and it was a delightful experience, though I haven't got the time yet to write a proper review yet, but I have a short one to share.
Putting aside that King Abdullah II is my king, the book is an amazing piece. He covered different chapters of his life, personal and professional in which both are affected by the life course of the Kingdom.
I can't deny that I was shocked to see the publishing time wasn't rescheduled but with turning the last page, I thought, it's not just the right time but it's the best time for such book to be published. The different layers he build and the multi-dimensional stories he mention will attach you to the book until the last page.

As a young citizen, I appreciate this book and I feel that I have a better understanding to my King now. On professional level, the book is a great insight to the peace process, what should have done, where we are now and where the world should put more weight to get things done.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mat on March 7, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As an American, I find it difficult to relate to and understand the daily life of the world outside. King Abdullah II changes that, presenting one of the biggest issues of the modern day in a very human story. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is shared by one person, who describes the experiences, the obstacles, and the potential all within a deep and personaland. This book is vital for the modern age, and I cannot recommend it enough.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Vivienne Walsh on May 28, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found this book 'by accident' while searching for a book written by King Hussein; however, as I wanted to get a better understanding of recent Jordanian history, and a different perspective on the Israel/Palestine situation I thought this would be a good start.

Although the title refers to the urgency of finding a workable peace in the Israel/Palestine conflict, King Abdullah ensures that his readers understand the beginnings of the situation by going back to the time of his great-grandfather, King Abdullah I. It is only a third of the way into the book that the reign of King Abdullah II begins. It is obvious that he has great admiration for his father and seeks to follow his footsteps in a faithful attempt to arrive at a negotiated peace settlement between Israel and Palestine, while bringing his own pragmatism to the task. He describes the changes he has made in his country, and his interactions with leaders of other world powers. He addresses some common misconceptions about Islam and piqued my interest in The Amman Message, which has its own chapter.

While the book describes serious matters, there is a good mix of 'human interest moments' to bring a personal touch to the story. It is easy to feel sympathy for the 6-year old boy, fluent in Arabic, with a fair knowledge of French and very little English, who is sent to school in England "to escape the mounting violence and chaos inside Jordan." Or to be amused by the young army officer gladly taking a night off and going to his sister's for "a real dinner", at which he met his future wife, Queen Rania, who had her own reservations about the young man of whom she had "heard things.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ann Lee on April 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was given this book to read when I recently visited a friend in Jordan. I politely began it, but was soon unable to put it down, it is such a good read! it is well-written, clear, and educational about the history, culture and politics of Jordan and it's neighbors.

King Abdullah seems sincere and genuinely concerned about the world and where it is headed. This is no Apologia, nor a manifesto. He has a point of view, of course, but it is nuanced, intelligent, and sane. I heard he had to cancel a book tour due to current situation, but I hope he can come to the U.S. later. We need to hear about, and read, this book. It needs word of mouth,
and I am telling everyone I can to read it; just sent to my 97 yr. old avid reader aunt, and she doesn't have time to waste on bad books!
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