Investigative journalism of a high order and also a significant contribution to history, as the Wallachs' work is based heavily on interviews with leading Palestinians (including hundreds of hours with Arafat and his closest advisers), Syrians, Egyptians, Israelis, Americans and others. It is not an "authorized" biography, not even a wholly sympathetic one. Rather, it is an attempt to tear away the myth and mystery surrounding the PLO leader, to present him neither as nationalist hero nor terrorist villain, but as a human being, clever politician and, above all, a survivor. Moving backward and forward in time, it tells much of the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict, inter-Arab relations, Palestinian nationalism, factional struggles within the PLO, and the policies of outside powers, especially the United States. The authors themselves show, and should stimulate in their readers, understanding of the concerns, hopes and fears of both Palestinians and Israelis.