JORDAN: Easier Lies the Hashemite Head

The title was perhaps a little selfconscious, for so princely an author. Still, when Jordan's bantam King Hussein decided to write his 1962 autobiography, he was remarkably prescient in borrowing Shakespeare's line, "Uneasy Lies the Head." Half of Hussein's kingdom was to fall to Israel after the 1967 war; Palestinian assassins regularly took potshots at him; other Arab rulers virtually ostracized him after Hussein expelled Palestinian fedayeen from his country in 1970. On top of everything else, Jordan's economy weakened as prices for phosphate, the kingdom's principal resource, dropped.

But much...

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