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Interventions: A Life in War and Peace Hardcover – September 4, 2012
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“Avoiding the nebulous rhetoric of many political memoirs, Annan instead provides a peacemaker’s invaluable perspective on those crises as well as insight into the daunting challenges facing international diplomats in today’s strife-ridden world." --Booklist
“[A] first-hand survey of efforts to attend to the world’s ills, recalling an alphabet of post-Cold War U.N. peace work from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.” --The Washington Post
“Written as part autobiography, part history lesson, [Interventions] is infused with Mr. Annan’s accounts of private encounters with world leaders.” --Rick Gladstone, The New York Times
“[An] interesting memoir… The accounts related by Annan… are worth every minute spent reading them. Nobody alive can quite match what he has heard and seen. As a bonus, he names names of national rulers and less well-known diplomats. For readers who want to identify heroes and villains, the book provides plenty of material. … With his book as his legacy, perhaps [Annan] will inspire younger individuals to make inroads against incredible cruelty around the world.” --Christian Science Monitor
“An insider's personal account based on lessons drawn from long experience.” --Kirkus
“In this thought-provoking new memoir, Kofi Annan describes the peaceful and more equitable world that is within our grasp, and offers his candid perspective on the challenges we must overcome to get there. Interventions is a powerful reminder that the United Nations still matters—and must continue to matter if we want our new century to be more free, peaceful and prosperous than the last.”
--President William J. Clinton
“Kofi Annan has been a powerful voice for the poor and a tireless advocate for peace. As a catalyst for international security and human rights, Annan reminds us that we, as a global community, are more alike than different. His life’s work demonstrates what is possible when we focus on the universal values of equality, tolerance and human dignity.”
“Kofi Annan is a great global leader of our time. This wonderful book gives the readers a lucid and enjoyable understanding of the kind of reasoning and commitment that has made Annan such a force for good in the troubled world in which we live.”
"Behind the velvet tones of Kofi Annan's dulcet Ghanaian voice, there's a fearsome and fearless iron will, intent on finding solutions to some of the world's biggest problems."
“An insightful and candid account of the most defining and complex conflicts and peace deals of the last decades of the 20th century intertwined with the vision and the life journey of one of the most outstanding global leaders of our times. Kofi Annan marks his footprint in history with leadership values in which truth, humility and dignity are the weaving threads.”
-- Graça Machel, founder of the Graça Machel Trust
“Kofi Annan gives a candid, clear and thoughtful account of his successes and failures in one of the world’s most challenging and thankless jobs.”
--Lee Kuan Yew, former prime minister of the Republic of Singapore
About the Author
NADER MOUSAVIZADEH is the chief executive officer of Oxford Analytica, a global analysis and advisory firm. Previously, Mousavizadeh served at the United Nations in the Office of the Secretary-General from 1997 to 2003 and was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. A Rhodes Scholar and a graduate of Harvard College, he received his M.B.A. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a Sloan Fellow. He is a foreign affairs columnist for Reuters and the editor of The Black Book of Bosnia.
More About the AuthorsDiscover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is well written, clearly laid out around a number of themes and obviously heartfelt. Kofi Annan himself is obviously a decent man, hard working, caring and diplomatic. But to what end? This book is a record of failure after failure, procrastination, buck-passing and extraordinary complacency; of societies riven by dictatorship and despotism while the UN agonises over methodology. A story of democratically elected leaders failing time and again to act in a way that would encourage improved security in the trouble spots of the world, failing to live up to promises on aid, failing to provide troops for peace-keeping missions, failing to do the one thing we pay them to do - that is, lead.
However good Annan's intentions may have been, even he can find very few successes to point to, and as head of an organisation with a $10 billion per annum budget and 44,000 staff (figures he gives himself) that's a fairly damning indictment of the UN and the international community in general. Drawing up policies and goals is one thing, living up to them quite another. But again and again Annan congratulates himself and the UN on simply coming up with a form of words or getting people round a table - the process is celebrated regardless of outcome.Read more ›
By giving us the opportunity to look at the recent history of wars and carefully brokered peace deals from inside the UN, I finally understand what I failed to grasp when atrocities were happening. It's one of those insightful books that are hard to put down. Former Secretary General Kofi Annan sheds light on the workings of the UN, especially the Security Council and the Peace Keeping Operations, without trying to conceal the failings. His candid way of explaining how and why peace operations failed, shows what a great and intelligent man he is.
I feel privileged to have read his memoir; without this book I would have never understood how 800.000 people could die in Rwanda without us being able to prevent it, or how the world could abandon Somalia. He explains history we all have been part of.
His book should be a must-read for AP history students and is highly recommended for all who want to understand recent wars from the inside. At the same time it's also a very informative read for those who otherwise aren't interested in the day to day activities of the UN. By reading this book your eyes are being opened.
I'm highlighting sentences while reading this book; there is so much I want to fully understand and remember. I highly recommend this book!
long and half-boring (although surely interesting) read about world politics.
On the contrary, I found myself almost unable to put the book down, and
finished it in a few days. Kofi Annan strikes just the right balance between brevity and detail
to paint an illuminating picture of the world's main conflicts in the 1990s and 2000s,
and the forces that shaped their cause and outcomes.
I found the most interesting parts to be his description of the psychology driving
global leaders, from the importance of self-respect and dignity that motivate
many leaders (sometimes leading them to take disastrous decisions), to the (at first glance
inexplicable) reasons the Iraqi's did not cooperate with UN weapons inspectors
(one reason being Iraq's fear of Iran and Israel and wanting to maintain a
shadow of a doubt about having nuclear weapons to deter these neighbors).
Kofi Annan has obviously a great grasp of diplomacy and how a deep understanding of
human psychology is the only way to achieve agreements.
It was also refreshing to see that even the UN's general secretary views the structure of
the security council as a weird old relic from WWII that has to be changed.
Overall, it is a frank assessment of strength and weaknesses of the UN, successes and failures during his tenancy, and a good history recap of the last 20 years of world conflict (and their historical background).
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Loved this book, it took me through a decade or more of conflict. Conflicts that I remember and can relate too. What a powerful global leader and diplomat.Published 1 day ago by Rob Mathews
This is an important book that anyone interested in foreign policy should read. One of the major sources of conflict is that voices from the third world are all too often absent... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Josh Leinsdorf
Should be top of the reading list for anyone interested in world politics, events, and history.Published 4 months ago by RC
A very diligent account from one of the propounding 21st century minds in International Development. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Collin Haynes
Great novel from the previous Secretary of Defense. Definitely a must-read for IR people.Published 5 months ago by A
This book remarks the importance of human life and dignity. It's also a sadly history of how to negotiate millions of lives with some of the most terrible tyrants ever existed.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great book, and I feel like I know Koffi Annan personally, for anyone who wants a life in diplomacy this is definitely a good guide. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Waddilove
I recently bought this book as a Christmas present for my dad but after reading the prologue chapter, I ended purchasing the kindle version for myself! Read morePublished on January 13, 2014 by Banquero