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Our Last Best Chance: The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  298 ratings  ·  51 reviews
A newsbreaking memoir that tackles head-on the toughest challenge in the world today.

When a dying King Hussein shocked the world by picking his son rather than his brother, the longtime crown prince, to be the next king of Jordan, no one was more surprised than the young head of Special Operations, who discovered his life was in for a major upheaval.

This is the inspir
Hardcover, First Edition, 368 pages
Published February 22nd 2011 by Viking Adult (first published 2011)
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188th out of 276 books — 215 voters

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Community Reviews

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Nada  Abandah
I have a hard time placing this book & evaluating it for multiple reasons. But the most important reason is: As a proud Jordanian reading a book that is written by the King of my country, I find it strange that the book was written for a specific target audience; The American Citizens! Secondly, although the book has been in the process of authoring, editing, publishing for two years now, the timing in which it was published couldn't be more off! Especially with the current events that are f ...more
Areej M.
للكاتب اسلوب جميل في السرد، فهو يقدم لك تقريراً تفصيلياً بما جرى كأنك تجلس امامه،،

وبنما انقسم الكتاب الى جزئين حياته قبل ان يصبح ملكاً وحياته بعدها، ولكوني اطلعت على كتب كثيرة تتحدث عن الجزئية الأولى وجدت عملية تكرارها مع اضافة بعض التفاصيل من شاهد عيان كإبن الملك شيء جيداً ولكنه غير ممتع.

اعجبني الجزء الثاني أكثر، لأنني لا اعلم عنه الكثير، ساعدني بطريقة ما باعادة ترتيب الاحداث التي عشتها، اعجبتني جزئية الاسلام وكيف تحدث عنه، هذا اعتقد ما يحتاج ان يعرفه الآخر (الغرب) عنا كمسلمين.
عندما تحدث عن الس
Sukumar Honkote
This book has been clearly written for a global audience with special efforts taken to explain the Arab way of life, international relations and history of the Arab- Israeli conflict (hence, an excellent read for people having only an iota of understanding of the Middle East). It is an extremely interesting read with international relations and events being explained in a succinct and simple manner. The initial half part tells his story before being anointed the King showcasing a third party vie ...more
It is very well written. I felt as if King Abdullah was sitting next to me talking. I have met him a couple of times so maybe that is why I feel that way. I had a connection with some parts of the book because of the time line and because my son attends King's Academy. It made me feel proud in the part when he mentions going camping the scholars and just sitting and talking. He is so fatherly to these young scholars. I started to cry when he mentioned the tragic loss of one of the scholars. This ...more
Al-anoud Sarhan

Ok...i am not a huge fan of King Abdullah or his wife.and when i heard that his book was published i decided i'll wait for an epub/pdf version.i don't judge a book by its cover nor its author,but i knew i'd give it less than 3 stars.

at the end of the book King Abdullah mentions his father's book Uneasy lies the head,which is one of my absolute favorites.i can hardly compare the two of them as kings ,leaders,or books.

i don't know how accurate it is that Jordan is a home for over 1.9 million refug
This is part autobiography, part modern history, and a rare insight into the mentality of one of the highly privileged and super rich. It is written in the form of narrative from the point of view of the author who has been King of Jordan from 1999. As implied in the title, much of it revolves around attempts to bring peace to a war ridden part of the world. The author was in his younger days an army officer, and the terse and factual style of the book would match that of a military debriefing. ...more
A very fascinating look at the Middle East crisis through the eyes of a moderate Arab Muslim. While not endorsing everything he said, I read this book and came away from it with great respect for this man who passionately wants peace between the Arabs and Israelis ... particularly the Palestinian people who live within the borders of present day Israel. He says that at the heart of the crisis in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians is the need for a two state solution ... Palesti ...more
Jenn LeBow
When we lived in Matamoros, Mexico, Honey and I took part in a bike tour co-sponsored by the Mayor’s office and the U.S. Consul General. Matamoros is just across the border from Brownsville, Texas, and our house was just a long block away from the Rio Grande, which we found out was called the Rio Bravo on the Mexican side of the border. You could literally see Texas from the roof of our house, and Honey could walk to work at the Consulate. On the day of the bike ride, our large group, accompanie ...more
Malcolm Snook
I have just finished reading 'OUR LAST BEST CHANCE The Pursuit of Peace in a Time of Peril' by King Abdullah II of Jordan. Without doubt it is the best non fiction book I've read in a decade.

This is a very special book, a unique insight into a cloistered world of behind closed door negotiations and politics. Extremely well written, informative and, in places very moving, the book is a major force for good in the world and I cannot praise it highly enough. If you believe war is a crime against hu
Joshua Bryant
This was an extremely enjoyable book because it really put me at eye-level with important events in the Israel and Arab region. The history really came alive because the author, the present king of Jordan, not only described what happened but also his motivations and feelings. On the other hand, I felt the need to be critical of his opinions. The Israelis (or at least their government, but this distinction was not frequently made) were always cast in a bad light. Their motivations were never exp ...more
Bernie Davis
Very interesting - background to understanding current and past issues in the Middle East. Recommended. He treads quite softly in passing judgement on other protaganists in the region, including Israelis and the major Arab countries. And understanding that the Hashemites were THE rulers and keepers of the Moslem faith for centuries provides a lot of food for thought. Jordan - which is East of the Jordan River - seems to have been making progress in recent years. How it all fits into the Palestin ...more
THe book written by a king of one of the two arab country that has diplomatic ties with israel provides an

overview of a long conflict between arabs and israelis.

It gave counts on historical events, facts and reasons since 50s from jordans'view.

Also touch base specifically on the economic and social development of jordan once king abdullah II took over the reign.

Relationship with the US is considered as key from king's point of view for peace, stability, economich growth within the region

The boo
I wish I could remember who recommended that I read this book, because I'm glad it was on my list and that I read. It provided an interesting perspective on the "Israeli / Arab" problem, and not one that I would consider to be mainstream in my thoughts. But I appreciated reading about the relevant issues from the viewpoint of a respected Arab leader that has been interested and involved in the peace process for many years. He spoke highly of Presidents Clinton and Obama, and not so much of Presi ...more
Sergeant Lawley was a philosopher in a sort of way. We were in the middle of a live-fire exercise in the countryside and things were going from bad to worse. My section of cadets was about to assault a hill, and we were waiting for the order. He and I were sitting slightly apart from the others, off to one side behind a few trees. He said, "Mr. Abdullah, there's something I've been meaning to tell you." He paused for effect. "You're always going to be in the shit. It's just the depth that's goin ...more
Gary Patton
Jul 11, 2014 Gary Patton rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: noone interested in historically accurate commentary on the Middle East challenege
Recommended to Gary by: Joel C. Rosenberg
Some Christian experts agree that the most moderate Arab leader in the Middle East is King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Other experts state that the real root of the violence in the Middle East lies in the hateful, supremacist dictates of the Koran against all non-Muslims, regardless of what the moderates say or do.

Because I had read on Joel Rosenberg's site that the King allegedly believes in a moderate reinterpretation of Islam's Koran, I felt led to read what he believes in his own words.

I first became interested in the man who would become King Abdullah II of Jordan when he made a cameo appearance on an episode of Star Trek: Voyager. At the time, he was still a prince. Apparently he is a huge fan of Star Trek. When I heard about his book, published in 2011, I knew I had to read it. The world needs more leaders who believe in the philosophy of Star Trek (all peoples, educated and living in peace, with good work to do and sufficient food, water, and shelter).

I am not a student of
A friend who has worked in Jordan recommended this book, and I'm glad she did. Great to read a moderate Arab viewpoint, written by a major player who seems to truly want to talk about peace. I remember stories about the king going out in costume after he took over to understand the real state of his kindgom, and he does briefly mention that here.
I thought this was an excellent book. I learned so much more about the culture and history of the Middle East. I think King Abdullah II has done a remarkable job in presenting the issues and I am marveled at what this king is doing for his country and his people.
His majesty King Abdullah II is a great visionary for peace. In this book, he lays out his plan of how peace could be achieved in the Middle East as well as his criticisms of the West's dealings in the Middle East. His main charge against the United States was that we do not listen to advice from people who understand the Middle Eastern mindset. We have our own set idea of how Arabs think, and nothing will change that for us. If we are to succeed in our dealings in the Middle East, then we have ...more
Really enjoyed this look at King Abdullah of Jordan. He has already led such an interesting life and has done much for the people of Jordan and the Arab World. Part history, part autobiography and part political essay, King Abdullah discussed a wide range of topics, in particular focusing the latter chapters on the Israel-Palestine conflict. I have seen that not everyone agrees with his approaches in the conflict, but I believe he has made an honest and passioned effort to bring the sides togeth ...more
King Abdullah II's view of the Israel-Palestine issue is not particularly objective, but understandably so. He starts out relatively fair, but in the end most of the blame goes directly on Israel. I'm not by any means an expert on this issue, but I believe there is blame on both sides.

However, it is a well written book, an interesting autobiography of the King, and an opportunity to read a point-of-view that I don't usually get to see, being a westerner.

I would recommend this book to anyone wit
I enjoyed the King's easy flowing writing style. While I admire his professed desire to instill peace in the region, I find fault in much of his recounting of Israeli-Palestinian history. Much was revisionist history with regards to the motivations and beginnings of each of the wars between Israel and the neighboring Arab countries. According to the author, Israel was responsible for every provocation, when that simply isn't true. If he truly seeks to help mediate a resolution on the Israel/Pale ...more
Salma Tantawi
Personal memories and family photographs seem to make Our Last Best Chance a walk down memory lane. Regardless of whether you subscribe to his political views or not, this book provides intriguing insight into the personal lives of the Hashemite family of Jordan and is a good PR tool in asserting King Abdullah’s Western-friendly image as a down-to-earth and up-to-date monarch.

Read my full review of Our Last Best Chance here:
Our Last Best Chance presents a compelling perspective on the challenges of Middle Eastern statecraft.
This was a first-person narrative about the Israeli/Palestinian conflict from the viewpoint of King Abdullah II of Jordan. In telling the story, King Abdullah traces his own life and explains in depth the problems and possible solutions to this on-going crisis. He makes a compelling case that this specific problem is at the root of worldwide Arab/American misunderstandings and hard feelings. I am now much more informed about a subtly complex topic, but alas, true understanding is still beyond my ...more
King Abdullah's remarkable memoir.
Fascinating perspective from the King of Jordan on issues in the region and the country. Having lived in Jordan for several years this may have been more interesting to me than to most people. In some ways this would be more interesting written 20 years after the activities rather than contemporaneously with them, as time adds a valuable perspective, but this is still a must read for those interested in the contemporary Middle East.
Joven Teh
A good King who's hands are tied by circumstances.
Sam Motes
King Abdullah gives a fresh perspective to the Western mind to the Israel and Palistinean conflict that has been built through living history of generations of his line striving for peace. The book gives some background on his family line and his ascent to the throne but focuses mainly on his vision of true peace in the region through a two state system. This is an important read whichever side you take in he conflict.
I think that we cannot truly expect objectivity from someone who's father repeatedly tried to eliminate Israel, and while there is some value in reading the thoughts of one side, I would call this book rather one-sided in portrayal of a lot of the major occurrences in the Middle East. Overall - if you want history - there are significantly better books. If you want fiction, yet again, there are much better books.

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(Arabic: عبدالله الثاني ابن الحسين)
The 41st-generation direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him), His Majesty King Abdullah II assumed his constitutional powers as monarch on 7 February 1999.

Following the leadership legacy of his father, the late King Hussein, King Abdullah has made the welfare of Jordan’s people the cornerstone of his policies for national development, regiona
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“من الحملات الصليبية إلى محاكم التفتيش الإسبانية، كم وكم فرض من الألأم والمعاناة على الأبرياء بسبب أولئك الذين يعتقدون قطعاً أنهم يحتكرون الخقيقة.” 2 likes
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