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Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle: The Kingdom, the Power & the End of Empire in America Hardcover – November 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Union Square Press (November 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140275230X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402752308
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,344,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brilliant political operative Richard Perle is known for his neoconservative views and hard-line support for expanding America's military might. Making extensive use of interviews with Perle and his supporters and detractors alike, Weisman (Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather) illuminates many of the darker corners of this mysterious character. Portraying Perle sympathetically on at least a personal level, Weisman highlights his dedication to improving, as he sees it, the national defense of his country and the skill apparent in his proudest achievements: the Jackson-Vanik amendment forcing the Soviet Union to allow Jews to emigrate and the completion of the INF treaty drawing down Soviet nuclear missiles. Weisman also debunks the idea that Perle is primarily concerned with Israel's security, though at times he seems a little too eager to forgo in-depth analysis in favor of snappy comebacks. Weisman concludes: If Richard Perle is guilty of anything, it is of a sadly stupefying resolve, a middle-of-the-road verdict that may be honest but is unlikely to either please Perle's most fervent fans or convert his opponents. (Nov.)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 7 customer reviews
I own a copy and am already on my second read of the biography.
ViaVicarious
Mr. Wiseman knows Mr. Perle that becomes clear quickly in this insightful trip into the life and times of a true political operative.
Peter M. Herford
This book gets right to the heart of why America is in the position it is in today.
Ken

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By ViaVicarious on November 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Alan Weisman's profile on Richard Perle is a careful examination into the life of one of Washington's most feared politicians. Although the media loves to hate Perle, Weisman paints a well-balanced picture, citing Perle's achievements in areas like arms control, as well as his complicity in going to War with Iraq. Weisman's seamless rendering of the facts with quotes and Perle's personal anecdotes makes me feel like a real insider. I own a copy and am already on my second read of the biography.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ken on December 17, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book gets right to the heart of why America is in the position it is in today. Perle is not an elected politician and has never run for public office. He is a "whisperer." He whispers in the ears of politicians. He does not have to account to anyone. Yet, he wields the kind of influence that puts our troops in Iraq and for what ? So the big boys can make a fortune on weapons deals and reconstruction ?
Alan Weisman has written a quite a report not only on Richard Perle but the behind the scenes workings in the Washington. I don't know why network news has not followed this trail. Loss of access ?
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Flash on November 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A real only-in-America story about a man who came from next to nothing, yet rose to command the attention of the most powerful in Washington. Although despised by plenty along the way, Richard Perle became the principal shaper of a US foreign policy destined to affect the next millennium, if we last that long.

Told with inimitable style by the author, clearly an insightful reporter and master story teller, "Prince of Darkness" gets under Richard Perle's fingernails and also the reader's, regardless of political persuasion. This is a good one for both sides of the aisle. Check it out.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Any book about Richard Perle must be approached with some trepidation. He is a public figure who had espoused foreign policy initiatives that has polarized certain segments of the media and body politic. I fully support the position that true objectivity is impossible the side of the Great Divide but I distain hatched jobs. This reader is pleased to report that author Weisman had made a commendable attempt to be, if not fair, at least honest.

Prior to reading this book my awareness of Mr. Perle originated from mystifying commentary in books purported to be about Presidents Reagan and Bush. High on this list was " The Fall of the House of Bush: The Delusions of the Neoconservatives and American Armageddon". I made a mental note - no I can't tell you how I do that - that Mr. Perle is someone I would like to know more about.

Mr. Weisman conducted extensive interviews with Richard Perle and provides us readers with liberal doses of rebuttal as he navigated the sometimes-stormy public life of his subject. It is no surprise Pearle co-operated with the author. He has a penchant for drawing attention to himself and then mounting the bully pulpit to espouse whatever. In respect to this book Perle must have been aware that a sober discussion of his various unwise financial dealings and discredited political positions would cumulatively relegate him to a spot between Richard Nixon and Oliver North. Well, it's interesting reading and sure to irritate a great number of people.

Weisman provides a brief but helpful bibliography for those desirering to pursue the topics raised in this book.
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More About the Author

Author, journalist, lecturer, TV host and commentator, Alan Weisman has been covering the news for four decades. As a producer for the acclaimed CBS News broadcast 60 Minutes; senior and executive producer of many CBS News broadcasts including Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood; executive producer of PBS' Charlie Rose, coordinating producer of the XVIth Olympic Winter Games, and host and moderator of the weekly U.S. foreign policy talk show Hearts and Minds, Weisman brings his experience and insider's perspective to a broad array of subjects including foreign policy, national defense, domestic politics, media matters, sports and pop culture. His interviews range from world leaders (Presidents Clinton and Carter) to policy makers (Colin Powell, Brent Scowcroft, Richard Perle) to military leaders (former Marine Corps Commandant Al Grey, Former Navy Secretary James Webb) to film and stage celebrities (Marlon Brando, Jackie Gleason, Peter O'Toole, Meryl Streep, Sean Penn) to sports stars (Arnold Palmer, Billie Jean King, Pete Rose) to musical masters (Cristoph Eisenbach, Midori, Nadja Salerno Sonnenberg, Dave Matthews).
Weisman has also lectured and taught at some of the major schools of journalism in the United States including the University of Texas, Miami University, West Virginia University, Washington and Lee and St. Bonaventure University. He is also the author of Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather (Wiley, 2006), and Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle and the End of Empire in America (Sterling/Union Square Press, 2007), as well as numerous op-ed columns for publications including The New York Times and The Los Angeles Times. He holds an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University.