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King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East
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King's Counsel: A Memoir of War, Espionage, and Diplomacy in the Middle East

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  75 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Jack O'Connell possessed an uncanny ability to be at the center of things. On his arrival in Jordan in 1958, he unraveled a coup aimed at the young King Hussein, who would become America's most reliable Middle East ally. Over time, their bond of trust and friendship deepened.

His narrative contains secrets that will revise our understanding of the Middle East. In 1967, O'Co
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published May 19th 2011 by W. W. Norton Company (first published May 9th 2011)
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Jul 23, 2014 Tim rated it liked it
Despite the cynicism which comes with reading a book by a CIA guy, one has to appreciate the criticism which O'Connell levels against Israel: "There is a question the Israelis have to ask themselves, and it's been my thought the whole time I was involved with this, and it was King Hussein's thought: What do they want? Don't they want to have peace with anybody? Do they think they will exist in any happy condition if they don't make peace with any of their neighbors?" (246). These questions come ...more
رولا البلبيسي Rula  Bilbeisi

King’s Counsel
Jack O’Connell

This was a very interesting memoir describing an extraordinary relationship between the King of Jordan and the CIA man, Mr. O’Connell. A man whose only mission was to keep the King in power, but later on, found he was full of admiration and respect to a king who wholeheartedly wanted and worked for peace.

Through the chapters that described different periods, O’Connell provided a look behind the scenes uncovering secrets and plots, especially for the September 1970 con
May 03, 2013 Gini rated it really liked it
One of my part time jobs is working as an audiobook proofer. I’ve been proofing audiobooks for a little over 6 months, and for the most part, it has been a series of marginally interesting but not quite captivating science fiction or western narratives, with the occasional bland non-fiction book. King’s Counsel is the first book that I’ve proofed where I was absolutely sucked in.

I studied abroad in Amman, Jordan during college, and visited the country several times as well. I wish that I had re
Jul 12, 2013 Paul rated it really liked it
Jack O'Connell served as CIA station chief in Jordan from 1963 to 1971, becoming the closest foreign advisor of that country's leader, King Hussein, and remaining his friend and attorney in the decades after that. "King's Counsel" is his memoir, and it contains not only personal insight into the mess that is the Middle East peace process - or lack thereof - but heretofore unrevealed first-person observations of history unfolding, as well as the powerful, behind-the-scenes forces shaping it.

The w
Frank Stein
Jan 10, 2012 Frank Stein rated it really liked it

A distinctive and eye-opening look at the work of the CIA and its connection with Middle-East diplomacy over the past 50-odd years, by the King of Jordan's closest American confidant.

The book is filled with anecdotes like the time the author and a buddy got drunk and broke into a Soviet construction project in Jordan on a whim to bug the site. When the Soviets discovered the slapdash job later, they assumed it couldn't be American work because it was too amateur. The author also discusses more s
Christien Hughes
Apr 14, 2014 Christien Hughes rated it really liked it
Very good book based on the author's relationship with King Hussein and his role in the CIA. His insight on everything from the wars with Israel to the the Iraq wars was very interesting.
Alain Dewitt
May 09, 2012 Alain Dewitt rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2012
I was interested in this book because as a teenager I lived in Jordan. In fact, one Friday afternoon at the American Community School in Amman (where I was a tenth grader at the time) during a Little League softball day, I met King Hussein. (In fact, I think it was that same day that my best friend accidentally put his overnight bag in Princess Haya Hussein's car, sparking a security incident that my father, then the Regional Security Officer at the US Embassy, helped to defuse. But I digress... ...more
Aug 09, 2015 Thomas rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-east
I really enjoyed parts of this book, but by the end it read too much like an old guy cramming for heaven. Published posthumously, it covers the author's tenure as CIA Chief of Station in Amman, Jordan, and (by his report) a close confidante and adviser to King Hussein, followed by O'Connell's period of serving as the attorney in the United States for the King and the nation of Jordan. I am a real junkie for international affairs and particularly intelligence and military matters, so there is a l ...more
Elise Brooking
Jan 03, 2016 Elise Brooking rated it really liked it
I loved this book. I came into it knowing absolutely nothing about Jordan, King Hussein or that period of time in the Middle East. And I enjoyed this book so much. Jack O'Connell tells such great stories and quick snippets of his time with the King and everyday life, that you get really drawn into it. Also -- he has a good sense of humor, so you can bet that some of the anecdotes will be funny and enjoyable.

For example, when he lands in Egypt, he's already with the CIA, but no one else is suppo
Sy De Witt
Since I served at the U.S. Embassy in Amman, Jordan in the early 1980s, I found the book an enjoyable trip down memory lane. Many of the places and personages O'Connell mentions in the book are very familiar to me. There were also some very interesting comments made about the political situation in the Middle East, which may or may not be accurate, given O'Connell's long-term relationship and employment as King Hussein's attorney in the U.S.
Jan 03, 2012 Larry rated it did not like it
I enjoy reading about the Middle East and Jordan in particular, but found this account of an ex-CIA official and his adventures in the region to be too self-serving to help me separate fact from ego. With so many great books out there to read, this isn't one I can recommend.
Hamza Attar
Jul 28, 2016 Hamza Attar rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics-history
Very Very Rich book of History & politics.
i highly recommend it to those whom are interested in knowing what really happened.
Marwan A. Frieh
Feb 12, 2014 Marwan A. Frieh rated it really liked it
تاريخ وجب معرفته..

٢٠ فصلا، ٢٠ حادثا .. FBI ..

حرب أكتوبر.. جمال عبد الناصر
Sep 10, 2013 Nagesh rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed reading this book. Give a very interesting account of King of Jordan.
Rana Alloush
Jul 27, 2015 Rana Alloush rated it it was amazing
before i started readinf this book.. i love king hussein but now i adore.. a remarkable man.. may his soul rest in peace
David Droddy
Oct 11, 2014 David Droddy rated it liked it
Well thought out. Not incredibly well written but not a difficult read either. O'Connell's long history of involvement in the Middle East is fascinating.
Eric rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2013
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Apr 30, 2016
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Feb 18, 2012
John Self
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Jun 16, 2012
Justina rated it it was amazing
May 25, 2016
Mohamed Ismail
Mohamed Ismail rated it it was amazing
Dec 07, 2011
Jer rated it really liked it
Dec 31, 2015
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Feb 26, 2016
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Mar 26, 2014
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