At nearly every pivotal moment in international politics over the past twenty-five yearsâfrom the Reagan-Gorbachev summits, to the Iran-Contra scandal, to the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the decision to go to war in Iraqâif 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 quietlyâbehavior 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 everyoneânot just policy expertsâshould read.
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