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The Prince: The Secret Story of the World's…

The Prince: The Secret Story of the World's Most Intriguing Royal, Prince…

by William Simpson

Other authors: Nelson Mandela (Foreword), Margaret Thatcher (Foreword)

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Simpson was a former classmate of Prince Bandar in England and has reconnected to write this biography. There is virtually no critical analysis, in fact it is rather fawning, but as this is already to be expected it also provides personal information that is probably reliable.Wonderful pictures. He was and is some "hunk" of a guy.

There is an extremely interesting Amazon review by someone who says he has had business connections with Bandar and conducted research on his life which is worth reading. He too admits that the book is self-serving, but is also valuable in showing how things do work in Saudi Arabia. ( )
  carterchristian1 | Sep 4, 2010 |
I was in the process in writing a review of this profoundly readable book when I chanced on a very positive review in the Washington Times on December 5, 2006 – an Op-ed article by Martin Seiff entitled “Royalty and Diplomacy” – and I found myself nodding in agreement. As I read William Simpson’s book, I was fascinated by the unparalleled power wielded by Prince Bandar - a remarkable individual– and his role in some of the key events in modern political history over the past two decades and more – and yet I had never even heard of him! However, when I first picked up Simpson’s book, it was the forewords by both Nelson Mandela and Margaret Thatcher – highly respected leaders at both ends of the political spectrum - that persuaded me to buy it

It was certainly worth it. I was increasingly enthralled by the many colorful anecdotes weaved throughout the book by William Simpson as he illustrated this larger than life character – aptly described as an enigma. If Simpson is to be believed, Prince Bandar has helped write history and has a Machiavellian darker side that oddly adds to the charisma that has clearly enabled him to walk into the White House or State Department with aplomb. Here was a foreign diplomat who not only influenced U.S. foreign policy, but who also acted as an emissary for his king, Presidents Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – and for world leaders as diverse as Margaret Thatcher, Saddam Hussein, Nelson Mandela and President Assad of Syria.

I was mesmerized by Prince Bandar’s influence and in the end found myself liking this modern-day political James Bond. His achievements are incredible and I can only imagine that his exploits will continue in Bandar’s new role as Secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council. Indeed, rumors abound of his covert meetings with Prime Minister Olmert of Israel and speculation has been heightened by the recent resignation of his successor as Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Turki Al Faisal. Prince Bandar appears to be a central character in a changing pattern of alliances in the Middle East as the moderate Arab states and Israel being to confront the challenges posed by Iran and its nuclear aspirations, and its support for Hezbollah and Hamas.

Having finished this highly entertaining, intriguing, revealing and well written account of Prince Bandar’s life, albeit perhaps heavy going in some of the earlier chapters, I feel that Martin Seiff’s final lines are an apt summary review – “This is the best street-smart, experience-based assessment discussion of the art of diplomacy I have read since former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's famous work on the same subject.” ( )
  commander48 | Jan 8, 2007 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Simpsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mandela, NelsonForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Thatcher, MargaretForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060899867, Hardcover)

A riveting portrait of one of the most enigmatic yet influential powerbrokers in America–Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al–Saud, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States from 1983–2005.

At a time when understanding our friends is as important as understanding our enemies, Prince Bandar bin Sultan remains one America's most enigmatic powerbrokers. As the illegitimate son of a Saudi prince and a servant girl, Prince Bandar overcame his unrecognized beginnings to rise as one of Saudi Arabia's brightest diplomatic stars, ultimately becoming the Ambassador to the United States–and one of the most influential men in Washington.

As Ambassador, Prince Bandar worked with CIA Director Bill Casey to fund covert CIA operations with Saudi petrodollars. He played a key role in the Iran–Contra affair; consulted with President Gorbachev to secure Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan; negotiated an end to the Iran–Iraq war; and, with Nelson Mandela, resolved the Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Affair. He served under four different American presidencies and was called "Washington's indispensible operator" by the New Yorker.

Yet Prince Bandar was more than this. His entre into Washington society and the Oval Office was unmatched. George H.W. Bush took the Prince and his family on fishing vacations; First Lady Reagan used him to convey messages to her husband's Cabinet; Colin Powell would drop by his house to play racquetball.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:26 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A riveting portrait of one of the most enigmatic yet influential powerbrokers in America - Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States from 1983 to 2005. For the last two and a half decades, the United States and Saudi Arabia have had a very special relationship - through war, oil crises, and global terrorism. At a time when understanding our friends is as important as knowing our enemies, understanding Prince Bandar bin Sultan may be the key to figuring out the Saudis. As the illegitimate son of a Saudi prince and a servant girl, Prince Bandar overcame his unrecognized beginnings to rise through the ranks of the Royal Saudi Air Force. Through his work with President Carter on the sale of F-15s to Saudi Arabia and his vital behind-the-scenes help in getting the Panama Canal Treaty through Congress, Bandar became one of Saudi Arabias brightest diplomatic stars - leading to his appointment as the Ambassador to the United States. As Ambassador, Bandar worked with President Reagan and CIA Director Bill Casey to win the Cold War with Saudi petrodollars. Seemingly in the thick of some of the most important world events of the last twenty-five years, Bandar played a key role in the Iran-Contra affair; convinced President Gorbachev to withdraw the Soviet military from Afghanistan; and negotiated an end to the Iran-Iraq war among others. A Machiavellian manipulator and a master tactician on the global chessboard, Bandar has had unmatched access to the Oval Office. George H. W. Bush took The Prince and his family fishing; Nancy Reagan used him to convey messages to her husbands Cabinet; Colin Powell would drop by to play racquetball. During the Gulf War, Prince Bandar even became a de facto member of the National Security Council. In this biography, William Simpson pulls back the curtain for the first time on the fascinating and startling life of a man of contradictions - equally at home in the royal palace in Riyadh as on the ski slopes of Aspen or playing hardball politics with international heads of state; a super-wealthy playboy yet a devoted family man; an expert in subterfuge and misdirection, yet a straight talker trusted the world over; a man of peace and yet the biggest arms dealer in the world - who emerged throughout the 1980s and 90s as one of the driving forces behind American foreign policy. Book jacket. Also includes information on Crown Prince Abdullah, Al-Yamamah, Arab-Israeli peace process, Yasser Arafat, James Baker, King Fahd, Gulf War, Sadam Hussein, Israel/Palestinian issue, Khobar bombing, Lockerbie Affair, Madrid Peace Conference, 9/11 investigation, etc.… (more)

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