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From the publisher
The late Israeli Foreign Minister, Prime Minister and President Shimon Peres was a towering figure in Israeli and Middle Eastern politics. But what drove the hawkish statesman behind Israel's nuclear deterrence and early settlement policy to stake his political reputation on peace negotiations with the Arab world and the PLO, Israel's sworn enemy? In this insider's account, written by Avi Gil, Peres's close confidant over almost 30 years, we witness firsthand the tense moments during the historic Oslo talks, kept under the strictest secrecy, when the explosive revelation that Peres was directing direct communications with Yasser Arafat's representatives for the first time threatened to leak to the press. We also see the fervent discussions and arguments between the personalities involved in the peace process, including Peres's rivalries with the Prime Ministers he served under, including Rabin, Sharon and Netanyahu. Although one of Peres's most trusted colleagues, Gil offers a frank assessment of his mentor, recounting his foibles and failures as consistently as he does his victories. We are shown Peres's unique energy and optimism for Israel and its Arab neighbors in his vision of a 'New Middle East'. But most valuable of all, we gain unique insight into the actual thought processes, conversations and decisions of Peres and his colleagues and adversaries as they initiated, processed and reacted to events in real time, shedding new light on a historic period in Israeli and Middle Eastern History. Of unique value to all those interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the book is also an insightful meditation on the inner-workings of all high-level government and diplomatic negotiations.