Hart began his career as a reporter in Central Africa, on the Nyasaland Times, and served as a war correspondent in Vietnam. He tells of having been the first Western correspondent to reach the banks of the Suez Canal with the Israeli army in 1967. He also tells of having been friendly with both Golda Meir and Yasser Arafat at roughly the same time and having been on friendly terms with such leaders as Saudi Arabia's King Faisal, Jordan's King Hussein, and both Egyptian Presidents Nasser and Sadat.
Hart says he was told by his editor Geoffrey Cox early in his career, "Never forget that leaders are the most lonely people in the world because they are surrounded by sycophants who only tell them what they want to hear. They, the leaders, are crying out for honest conversation." Inspired by this advice, he says, he held "private one-on-one conversations over the years with leaders on both sides of the Arab-Israeli connection, giving him a rare insight into the truth of what they really believed and feared as opposed to what they said in public for propaganda and myth-sustaining purposes."