Lion of Jordan
20%
off

Lion of Jordan : The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace

4.24 (194 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Avi Shlaim's Lion of Jordan: The Life of King Hussein in War and Peace is the first major account one of the most important figures in the turbulent history of the Middle East.

Peace-broker, statesman, charismatic ruler and master of realpolitik, Hussein of Jordan was one of the dominant figures in Middle Eastern politics, its most continuous presence, and one of the most consistent proponents of peace with Israel.
For over forty years he was at the eye of the storm in the region, constantly negotiating between the Arab world and the Israelis, guiding his country through conflict, surviving assassination attempts and trying to fulfill his lifelong quest for peace and the survival of his dynasty. This is the first major account of Hussein's remarkable dialogue across the battle lines, and of his covert meetings with Israeli leaders. Drawing on extensive archival sources and on unprecedented interviews with Hussein, his family, and confidants, it reveals a titanic leader and a courageous man.

'A thrilling, masterful biography'
Simon Sebag-Montefiore, Sunday Telegraph Books of the Year

'The most comprehensive biography of the "plucky little king"'
Anton La Guardia, Literary Review

'A nuanced portrait of Jordan's late King Hussein ... salutes Hussein's extraordinary physical and moral courage'
Daily Telegraph

Avi Shlaim was born in Baghdad in 1945; grew up in Israel; and received his university education at Cambridge and the LSE. His books include Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine (Winner of the Political Studies Association's WJM Mackenzie Prize, 1988), War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World.
show more

Out of ideas for the holidays?

Visit our Gift Guides and find our recommendations on what to get friends and family during the holiday season. Shop now .

Product details

  • Paperback | 720 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 31mm | 513g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141017287
  • 9780141017280
  • 489,259

Review quote

"A powerful, richly researched history. . . . Fascinating. . . . Passionately engaged. . . . Nuanced and human. . . . Shlaim's blow-by-blow account of Hussein's career reads as a somberly addictive saga. . . . King Hussein's whole life was spent in foreign affairs, and his story becomes the story of the Middle East over half a century."--New York Review of Books "King Hussein was a leader of remarkable vision, commitment and humanity. . . . Shlaim brilliantly lays out Hussein's search for tranquility for his country and his neighbors, and the obstacles his negotiating partners put in his way."--The Washington Post"An absorbing diplomatic chronicle. . . . [Shlaim's] authority, and tenacity, are undeniable. . . . His narrative is gripping. . . . Shlaim details every move, much like a crime reporter covering an interminable gang war, marveling at the young boss's ability to play for a draw or make his own luck. . . . Step by step, he guides us through the opportunities the players did not miss a chance to miss."--The Nation "Excellent. . . . A particularly valuable account of Hussein's relations with Israel and the Palestinians."--The New York Times Book Review "Shlaim is an Iraqi-born academic, reared in Israel and long resident in Britain, who writes about the Middle East with exceptional wisdom and insight. . . . [He] tells the story extremely well."--Max Hastings, Sunday Times (London) "The most authoritative biography of [King Hussein]. . . . He emerges from under Shlaim's microscope as honest, fundamentally decent and, in a region noted for its brutality and treachery, notably merciful and kind. In his personal dealings, most strikingly with the Israelis, he was especially gracious. . . . Without his relentless diplomacy (conducted often along those secret channels), the region might be even bloodier than it is already."--The Economist "A thrilling, masterful biography."--Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sunday Telegraph (London), Book of the Year "Riveting. . . . Artful. . . . Thoroughly informed."--Wall Street Journal"A highly readable account of the courageous, astute and sometimes impulsive leader of 'an impecunious and insignificant desert kingdom.'"--Financial Times"Remarkable. . . . Shlaim tells [this story], for all its complicated scholarship and historical allusion, with genuine compassion. . . . He has worried his way through subterfuge and mendacity, terrorist threat and open warfare, to establish Hussein's credentials as a genuine champion of peace."--Jan Morris, Guardian (London) "All would-be Middle East peacemakers should read [Lion of Jordan]. For Shlaim shows not only how attempts at peacemaking in the region have failed, but also why."--Sunday Telegraph (London) "Shlaim is the sort of historian every country needs. An exposer of national myths, [he is] the supreme scholar of Arab-Israeli negotiations. . . . For many years [Lion of Jordan] will remain the standard work on King Hussein."--The Spectator "Superb. . . . [Shlaim] not only has the twists and turns of the Arab-Israeli conflict at his fingertips but understands better than most why it has twisted or turned."--New Statesman "If one wishes to personalise the political history of the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century, there is no better choice of subject than Hussein bin Talal. . . . [Lion of Jordan] captures well the noble aspirations of its subject."--Daily Telegraph (London) "Shlaim's stinging critique of Israel might stir controversy, but his comprehensive, nuanced account of Hussein's life illuminates the tragic complexities of Middle Eastern politics."--Publishers Weekly"Wide-ranging and well-documented. . . . Shlaim's book gives us a better understanding of a major politician."--The Observer (London) A powerful, richly researched history. . . . Fascinating. . . . Passionately engaged. . . . Nuanced and human. . . . Shlaim s blow-by-blow account of Hussein s career reads as a somberly addictive saga. . . . King Hussein s whole life was spent in foreign affairs, and his story becomes the story of the Middle East over half a century. New York Review of Books King Hussein was a leader of remarkable vision, commitment and humanity. . . . Shlaim brilliantly lays out Hussein s search for tranquility for his country and his neighbors, and the obstacles his negotiating partners put in his way. The Washington Post An absorbing diplomatic chronicle. . . . [Shlaim s] authority, and tenacity, are undeniable. . . . His narrative is gripping. . . . Shlaim details every move, much like a crime reporter covering an interminable gang war, marveling at the young boss s ability to play for a draw or make his own luck. . . . Step by step, he guides us through the opportunities the players did not miss a chance to miss. The Nation Excellent. . . . A particularly valuable account of Hussein s relations with Israel and the Palestinians. The New York Times Book Review Shlaim is an Iraqi-born academic, reared in Israel and long resident in Britain, who writes about the Middle East with exceptional wisdom and insight. . . . [He] tells the story extremely well. Max Hastings, Sunday Times (London) The most authoritative biography of [King Hussein]. . . . He emerges from under Shlaim s microscope as honest, fundamentally decent and, in a region noted for its brutality and treachery, notably merciful and kind. In his personal dealings, most strikingly with the Israelis, he was especially gracious. . . . Without his relentless diplomacy (conducted often along those secret channels), the region might be even bloodier than it is already. The Economist A thrilling, masterful biography. Simon Sebag Montefiore, Sunday Telegraph (London), Book of the Year Riveting. . . . Artful. . . . Thoroughly informed. Wall Street Journal A highly readable account of the courageous, astute and sometimes impulsive leader of an impecunious and insignificant desert kingdom. Financial Times Remarkable. . . . Shlaim tells [this story], for all its complicated scholarship and historical allusion, with genuine compassion. . . . He has worried his way through subterfuge and mendacity, terrorist threat and open warfare, to establish Hussein s credentials as a genuine champion of peace. Jan Morris, Guardian (London) All would-be Middle East peacemakers should read [Lion of Jordan]. For Shlaim shows not only how attempts at peacemaking in the region have failed, but also why. Sunday Telegraph (London) Shlaim is the sort of historian every country needs. An exposer of national myths, [he is] the supreme scholar of Arab-Israeli negotiations. . . . For many years [Lion of Jordan] will remain the standard work on King Hussein. The Spectator Superb. . . . [Shlaim] not only has the twists and turns of the Arab-Israeli conflict at his fingertips but understands better than most why it has twisted or turned. New Statesman If one wishes to personalise the political history of the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century, there is no better choice of subject than Hussein bin Talal. . . . [Lion of Jordan] captures well the noble aspirations of its subject. Daily Telegraph (London) Shlaim s stinging critique of Israel might stir controversy, but his comprehensive, nuanced account of Hussein s life illuminates the tragic complexities of Middle Eastern politics. Publishers Weekly Wide-ranging and well-documented. . . . Shlaim s book gives us a better understanding of a major politician. The Observer (London)"
show more

About Avi Shlaim

Avi Shlaim was born in Baghdad in 1945; grew up in Israel; and received his university education at Cambridge and the LSE. He is a Fellow of St. Antony's College, a member of the British Academy and a Professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford. Previous books include Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, The Zionist Movement, and the Partition of Palestine (Winner of the Political Studies Association's WJM Mackenzie Prize, 1988), War and Peace in the Middle East: A Concise History (1995) and The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World (2000).
show more

Rating details

194 ratings
4.24 out of 5 stars
5 39% (75)
4 49% (95)
3 10% (20)
2 2% (4)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X