HARD LINE by Richard Perle


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 Former Reagan Administration assistant secretary of defense for international security Perle presents a policy-driven thriller- Ö-clef about State Department perfidy and the valiant, dedicated, selfless assistant secretary of defense for international security in the administration of a nameless but eerily familiar 3x5 card- flipping President who battles to save the nation from the aforementioned perfidy and from anyone in either hemisphere who would threaten the Strategic Defense Initiative. You thought the Soviets were mean and treacherous, but that's just because you don't know the real threat to peace, stability, and the balance of power--those oily, stupidly trusting, cynical WASPs who run the State Department. They're really bad. Beltway insiders are sure to be left gasping by the devastating portrait of Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Dan Bennet, a totally unprincipled Princetonian who uses his old college roommate, now a liberal Stanford professor, as a back-channel to the Soviets in order to undermine the hard-hitting, coldly realistic, and increasingly successful SDI-dependent foreign policy espoused by ultradedicated Assistant Secretary of Defense, talented amateur cook, and neglectful husband Michael Waterman. How lucky the President, the Secretary of Defense, and, well, the country are to have Waterman, who stays working late at the Pentagon night after night to craft a defense policy based on reason and fact rather than Liberal Sentiment. But Waterman is about to face his greatest battle. After dreaming up a stunningly simple but immensely powerful course of action to take in the area of intermediate-range European-based missiles, he realizes that all his wonderful work is about to go down the tubes, sabotaged by the hateful Assistant Secretary Bennet, who has his own plan to give the Soviets the nuclear candy-store just for the sake of a silly treaty. Bennet and Waterman go toe-to-toe as the President and the General Secretary do the summit thing.... All the breezy charm and subtle thrills of a Nixon memoir.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1992
ISBN: 0-394-56552-5
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 1992