At nearly every pivotal moment in international politics over the past twenty-five yearsfrom the Reagan-Gorbachev summits, to the Iran-Contra scandal, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the decision to go to war in Iraqif you dug deeply you would find a figure just behind the scenes influencing the action: that of Richard Perle. Largely eschewing senior cabinet appointments and other high-profile roles, the passionate, zealous Perle has been content to operate quietlybehavior which earned him the moniker of The Prince of Darkness. Nevertheless, his influence in Washington has helped to fuel an international disaster in Iraq and the growth of anti-Americanism worldwide. Alan Weisman, a former producer for 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, and the CBS Evening News, is now shining a light on this major political figure.
While Perle has not authorized this biography, he has submitted to interviews with Weisman, encouraged his friends to do so, and provided non-classified material. Such access has granted Weisman a deep and critical insight into Perle’s methods and mindset. Weisman explores how Perle derailed a nuclear arms agreement between the U.S. and the then Soviet Union; his controversial business dealings; Perle’s tenure as Chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board during the present Bush Administration; and his role leading up to the Iraqi War, including his dealings with Iraqi exiles like Ahmed Chalabi. From the collapse of the Soviet Union to the current saber-rattling over Iran, Syria, and North Korea, Perle has put his stamp on almost every decisive event in international politics. This is an insightful and incisive study of the highest quality, and one that everyonenot just policy expertsshould read.
From Prince of Darkness, What People Say about Richard Perle:
We used to have major problems when Richard would wander off the farm and be caught doing things that were not consistent with the policies that [Caspar] Weinberger and [George] Shultz were trying to implement.”Colin Powell, Secretary of State, 2001-2005
Richard can take a really bad idea and make it sound almost plausible and reasonable, even brilliant.”Richard Burt, Assistant Secretary of State, 1983-1985
I really don’t understand Perle. If you talk about the real neocons, there’s Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, and they’re very different. Paul Wolfowitz is an idealist, but he’s prepared to impose democracy by the sword. I don’t think Perle gives a [bleep] about democracy. Fundamentally, it’s all a means to an end.”Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor, 1989-1993