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A long, ambitious Work.
on 10 August 2014
This is quite a good book, but it is flawed in that it is too long, discursive and repetitive. It gives an interesting picture of the Mossad, but often strays off topic. Apart from Israeli and Arab leaders, the cast includes George W Bush, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, Robert Maxwell, Condoleezza Rice and many others. Even Jeffrey Archer gets a mention. There's plenty of conspiracy theory and various incidents are looked into in great detail: Lillehammer, Entebbe, the death of Princess Diana (twice), the attempted assassination of John Paul II, the Gulf Wars, the capture of Saddam Hussein, 9/11, the London tube bombings and the Bali bomb, for example. In many of these, Mossad was just a bit player. The book was written before the assassination of Osama bin Laden, but in time for the author to refer to the "monumental mistake(s)" of Bush and Blair.
Inevitably there are flaws. We are told that David Kimche left Oxford University with a Social Science degree in 1968, but not only would he have been thirty or more probably forty at the time, but also Oxford did not have such a degree then. In addition, we are told that he then joined Mossad, but a few pages later that turns out to have been "in the early sixties". Also, the attempted assassination of John Paul II is given a date of May 1981, but a few pages later there is a reference to "only three months before, in February 1983". And he gets the date of the collapse of the Berlin Wall wrong too (a year early).
This is a pity, because the author appears to have done a great amount of detailed research in order to produce a long, interesting and worthy volume. But he is prone to name dropping, and there even seems to be a tendency to self indulgence.