The most naive man in the Middle East?

Kai Bird’s eloquent new book on CIA agent Robert Ames argues that the peace process was engendered by the agency, but leaves readers with many questions about the protagonist’s motives.

July 3, 2014 15:22
Saudi Arabia

Bob Ames in Saudi Arabia, Christmas 1964, with his daughters, Catherine and Adrienne. (photo credit: COURTESY NANCY AMES HANLON)

In May 1964, the World’s Fair was held in New York City. At the Jordanian Pavilion, a mural depicted destitute Palestinian refugees. Israelis, who happened to have a section next to the Jordanians, complained to Robert Moses, the mercurial parks commissioner who was running the fair.

Moses, a Jew, might be sympathetic to their demands to remove the “propaganda against Israel,” they thought.


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