This little book treats more than the Middle East. It offers a manual for diplomats and a mirror for princes in the grand tradition from de Callieres (if not Machiavelli) to Nicolson and beyond. Eban's limpid style and generous use of anecdotes to breathe life into broad generalizations make for a book that even busy twentieth-century princes may find time to read. Israel and the Middle East do, however, figure throughout the book, and the last two chapters present an impassioned brief for a peace of mutual respect and cooperation between Israel and Arafat's Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and between Israel and the Arab world. Yes, Eban, always associated with the Israeli Labor Party, blisteringly criticizes Netanyahu and his government. Domestic political infighting? Perhaps, but more likely a seasoned diplomat's valedictory to all who will listen. Retired statesmen can often be candid -- and wise.
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