Brilliant political operative Richard Perle is known for his neoconservative views and hard-line support for expanding America's military might. Making extensive use of interviews with Perle and his supporters and detractors alike, Weisman (Lone Star: The Extraordinary Life and Times of Dan Rather) illuminates many of the darker corners of this mysterious character. Portraying Perle sympathetically on at least a personal level, Weisman highlights his dedication to improving, as he sees it, the national defense of his country and the skill apparent in his proudest achievements: the Jackson-Vanik amendment forcing the Soviet Union to allow Jews to emigrate and the completion of the INF treaty drawing down Soviet nuclear missiles. Weisman also debunks the idea that Perle is primarily concerned with Israel's security, though at times he seems a little too eager to forgo in-depth analysis in favor of snappy comebacks. Weisman concludes: "If Richard Perle is guilty of anything, it is of a sadly stupefying resolve," a middle-of-the-road verdict that may be honest but is unlikely to either please Perle's most fervent fans or convert his opponents. (Nov.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Prince of Darkness: Richard Perle: The Kingdom, the Power & the End of Empire in Americaby Alan Weisman
At nearly every pivotal moment in international politics over the past twenty-five years–from the Reagan-Gorbachev summits, to the Iran-Contra scandal, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the decision to go to war in Iraq–if you dug deeply you would find a figure just behind the scenes influencing the action: that of Richard Perle. Largely
At nearly every pivotal moment in international politics over the past twenty-five years–from the Reagan-Gorbachev summits, to the Iran-Contra scandal, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the decision to go to war in Iraq–if you dug deeply you would find a figure just behind the scenes influencing the action: that of Richard Perle. Largely eschewing senior cabinet appointments and other high-profile roles, the passionate, zealous Perle has been content to operate quietly—behavior which earned him the moniker of The Prince of Darkness. Nevertheless, his influence in Washington has helped to fuel an international disaster in Iraq and the growth of anti-Americanism worldwide. Alan Weisman, a former producer for 60 Minutes, CBS Sunday Morning, and the CBS Evening News, is now shining a light on this major political figure.
While Perle has not authorized this biography, he has submitted to interviews with Weisman, encouraged his friends to do so, and provided non-classified material. Such access has granted Weisman a deep and critical insight into Perle’s methods and mindset. Weisman explores how Perle derailed a nuclear arms agreement between the U.S. and the then Soviet Union; his controversial business dealings; Perle’s tenure as Chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board during the present Bush Administration; and his role leading up to the Iraqi War, including his dealings with Iraqi exiles like Ahmed Chalabi. From the collapse of the Soviet Union to the current saber-rattling over Iran, Syria, and North Korea, Perle has put his stamp on almost every decisive event in international politics. This is an insightful and incisive study of the highest quality, and one that everyone—not just policy experts—should read.
From Prince of Darkness, What People Say about Richard Perle:
“We used to have major problems when Richard would wander off the farm and be caught doing things that were not consistent with the policies that [Caspar] Weinberger and [George] Shultz were trying to implement.”—Colin Powell, Secretary of State, 2001-2005
“Richard can take a really bad idea and make it sound almost plausible and reasonable, even brilliant.”—Richard Burt, Assistant Secretary of State, 1983-1985
“I really don’t understand Perle. If you talk about the real neocons, there’s Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz, and they’re very different. Paul Wolfowitz is an idealist, but he’s prepared to impose democracy by the sword. I don’t think Perle gives a [bleep] about democracy. Fundamentally, it’s all a means to an end.”—Brent Scowcroft, National Security Advisor, 1989-1993
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If anyone wants to know why the US is in the sorry state it is in you need to read this book. I'm surprised the New York Times or another newspaper didn't do the kind of reporting this book obviously does. Great job of connecting the dots.
Richard Perle is the man behind some of the most impacting decisions in American foreign policy in Europe and the Middle East since to date. Mr. Weisman's un-authorized biography is an in-depth examination of the man behind the mask. Weisman draws Perle out of the darkness, exposing the truths about his career as a political God-Father. Most importantly Weisman does not let his subject off the hook when it comes to Perle's role in directing the Iraq War. I read a lot of biographies and enjoy Weisman's storytelling. Highly recommended.