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

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  148 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
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 c
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 27th 2008 by Penguin (first published November 1st 2007)
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Jan 25, 2016 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've bought this book on my trip to Jordan. Fascinated by the country and the people, I wanted to know more about them. Thorough, detailed and extremely captivating, the book was exactly what I needed!

It's not something that you read in a day or even in a week. It needs time and attention to it, as the amount of facts and their precision require time to digest. But the book is totally worth it!

If you are looking for a biography full of personal details and dirty laundry, find something else to r
Ksenia Svetlova
Sep 24, 2011 Ksenia Svetlova rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very detailed, well written and informative account of Jordanian history, however sometimes too detailed and too long. All and all, I enjoyed the book although it took quite a lot of time to get it done :)
George Serebrennikov
I think Avi Shlaim did a superb job, providing very balanced and informative account of the history of Jordan in general and the life of King Hussein in particular. I found the book slightly boring in the beginning, but then, somewhere around the Olso accord, the book became a page-turner. It was very clear from reading the book that the author firmly belongs to the left-wing camp, as far as the Israeli politics are concern, but I do not think he ever overstepped the boundaries.
Iain Maclean
Mar 06, 2013 Iain Maclean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title is almost a misnomer - yes King Hussein was a fine man, and his story is fascinating, but what Avi Shlaim has done is way beyond an autobiography - it is nothing short of the entire Middle East history over the last 80 years. Shlaim's narrative is balanced, informed, empathetic, insightful, definitive and witty. I feel improved for having read this book, and yet it is clear that there is a circle of violence described here driven by greed and executed by ignorance.
Dan Murphy
Dec 07, 2010 Dan Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, biography
- too fawning at times; at the end of the day King Hussein acted to preserve his throne and his familial inheritance, not to serve the Arab nation
- interesting that a Jewish author had so many connections with intimates of the now deceased King
- aside from exhaustive details of the King, this is a great book if you want to understand the modern history of the ME
Christien Hughes
May 26, 2014 Christien Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the book centers on King Hussein, it does offer a very thorough history of the Middle East and its corresponding peace processes. The author did a great job tying together the various testimonies and transcripts to put this gem together.
Matthew Jones
Feb 11, 2012 Matthew Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, scholarly read on the life of King Hussein bin Talal and the Hashemite dynasty he sought to protect in a volatile period. A little too much weight is given to diplomatic relations and not enough 'on the ground' practicalities, but this is evidence of the excellent access to the major players that Shlaim had.
Apr 04, 2009 Do rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an amazing story. I highly recommend it. How anyone could have this much perseverance in the quest for peace is beyond my comprehension. Too bad his life was so short.
A must-read book for anyone coming to the region or who might have an interest in Jordan or the history of the Arab-Israeli peace process. A very, very well-written biography!!!
Apr 22, 2010 Monta rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kind of a long, slow read. It's a political biography of King Hussein of Jordan. I learned a lot about Arab/Arab relations as well as Arab/Israel and Jordan/Israel relations.
Aug 19, 2015 Naif rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very well written and informative book on King Hussain who played a major and a shaping role of the contemporary middle eastern history.
Oussama Salah
Jul 28, 2012 Oussama Salah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting view of HM King Hussein's life and work as seen from an Israeli perspective.
Nov 16, 2008 Reata rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Everything you ever wanted to know about King Hussein. Informative, academic read.
Mar 14, 2012 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, well written. An important read if going to the Middle East.
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Avi Shlaim FBA (born October 31, 1945) is an Iraqi-born British/Israeli historian. He is emeritus professor of International Relations at the University of Oxford and a fellow of the British Academy. Shlaim is considered one of Israel's New Historians, a group of Israeli scholars who put forward critical interpretations of the history of Zionism and Israel.
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