"Barbara Amiel has robustly led more colourful lives than the most exotic Cheshire Cat."
– Elton John
"Amiel dishes on affluent society in this scorching memoir, settling scores with those she thinks betrayed her and her husband, former media baron Conrad Black...This arch, over-the-top lambasting will captivate political junkies and society watchers alike."
– Publishers Weekly
"Memoirs can make for tedious reading: the minutiae of someone else’s life, the juicy tidbits left out, the worthy commentary left in. But then along comes Barbara Amiel, the wife of the former media tycoon Conrad Black, with Friends and Enemies: A Memoir, 608 gloriously indiscreet pages of elegant vitriol. It could equally well be called Sex and Spite in High Society. Mostly, though, she’s taking a very public revenge on the friends who deserted her after the downfall of her husband, and she’s clearly enjoying it. And don’t get her started on what she thinks about grasping lawyers, unscrupulous art dealers and faithless hairdressers."
– Air Mail
"More enemies than friends take center stage in Amiel's fiery recollections of her eventful life. An observant and unforgiving account of a life that 'has always been a precarious mix of gutter and ballroom, of intense work and absolutely unhealthy play.' Packed with enough memorable characters, household moves, dinner parties, and jewelry shopping excursions to fill at least three typical memoirs. A celebrity memoir with an uncompromising kick."
– Kirkus Review
"This is undoubtedly the autobiography of the decade. Barbara Amiel’s searing—and sometimes brutal—honesty, both about herself and others, leaves the reader staggered. How one person could have lived so many starkly different lives—bikini model, gangster’s moll, first female editor, TV provocateur, multi-married sexual adventuress, proud Zionist, poet’s muse, Cold War warrior, titled society hostess, assiduous prison visitor, and more—is truly extraordinary. No one expected a discreet memoir from Barbara Amiel, but few could possibly have imagined that it would be quite this powerfully, dangerously, profoundly self-revelatory."
– Andrew Roberts, New York Times bestselling author of Churchill: Walking with Destiny
"Stabbing at these enemies with her nib, Amiel is superb, furious and, best of all, funny. Say what you like about her—and many have—but the Black Lady can write.”
– The Times (London)
"Ms. Amiel leaves no score unsettled in this waspish, often scandalous, gossipy, vengeful, intimate chronicle of her tumultuous life (there’s even a “friends and enemies” list at the end). It’s also disarmingly frank, funny, and very well written.”
– The Wall Street Journal
"[T]he astonishing, salacious, bitchy and utterly unputdownable inside account of her life inside the global super-rich club and subsequent fall into (very relative) penury..."
– Tom Sykes, The Daily Beast
"In the end, though, Friends and Enemies is a great memoir because it recounts honestly what one possibly uncommonly complex human life was like. Amiel summarizes it herself at the end: 'I had stardust, that ephemeral something that defies explanation, but not enough.' And again, 'It’s a popular truism to say the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. I don’t feel that way. The more I know, the more I realize how much I have thrown away.’ ”
– Commentary Magazine