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Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations [Kindle Edition]

John Bolton
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

With no-holds-barred candor, the straight-talking former ambassador to the United Nations takes readers behind the scenes at the UN and the U.S. State Department and reveals why his efforts to defend American interests and reform the UN resulted in controversy. A veteran of three Republican administrations and a nominee for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Bolton shows how the U.S. can lead the way to a more realistic global security arrangement for the twenty-first century and identifies the next generation of threats to America.

The son of a Baltimore firefighter and the first person in his family to go to college, with scholarships to Yale University and Yale Law School, John Bolton studied with preeminent conservative thinkers Robert Bork and Ralph Winter. After law school, he experienced the "Reagan Revolution" firsthand in Edwin Meese's justice department -- where the American judiciary was fundamentally reshaped. His diplomatic skills were honed working with Secretary of State James Baker during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, and serving in the administration of President George W. Bush as Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.

In this revealing memoir, he candidly recounts his appointment in 2005 as Ambassador to the United Nations, his headline-making Senate confirmation battle, which resulted in his recess appointment, and his sixteen-month tenure at the United Nations. Bolton offers keen insight into such international crises as North Korea's nuclear test, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, the genocide in Darfur, the monthlong negotiation that produced the controversial end of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, and more. Recounting both his successes and frustrations in taking a hard line against weapons-of-mass destruction proliferators, terrorists, and rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, he also exposes the operational inadequacies that hinder the UN's effectiveness in international diplomacy and its bias against Israel and the United States. At home, he criticizes the pernicious bureaucratic inertia in the U.S. State Department that can undermine presidential policy.

A fascinating chronicle of the career of a distinguished lawyer and diplomat who has fought to preserve American sovereignty and strength at home and abroad, Surrender Is Not an Option is the candid memoir of one of America's outstanding statesmen that is sure to become required reading for everyone interested in international affairs.

Editorial Reviews


"An exceptionally well-written account of Ambassador Bolton's experiences in that most obtuse of all human institutions -- The United Nations...The story he tells is sometimes amusing, sometimes frightening, but never dull." -- Lawrence S. Eagleburger, 62nd U.S. Secretary of State

About the Author

John Bolton was appointed by President George W. Bush as United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations in 2005, and served until his appointment expired in December 2006. He was nominated for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for playing a major role in exposing Iran's secret plans to develop nuclear weapons. An attorney who has spent many years in public service and held high-level positions in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Bolton is currently a Senior Fellow at American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C., and a commentator for Fox News Channel. He lives outside of Baltimore, Maryland, with his wife and daughter.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1023 KB
  • Print Length: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; Reprint edition (November 6, 2007)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000W912MO
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #761,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
186 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Revealing to the max..... November 7, 2007
If you come to Surrender is Not an Option feeling that the U. N. has outlived its usefulness and is counter to the best interests of the United States, then everything you probably already believe will be reinforced by what Mr. Bolton has to say. If you feel that the United Nations is a valid and worthwhile organization, get ready to have your beliefs challenged.

Assuming John Bolton isn't an out and out liar (which I could never believe) and that he has some hidden agenda in writing this book, the information contained here is earth shaking. That it comes from someone who actually went to work there for over a year makes what he has to say even more believable.

Surrender is Not an Option is an indictment of crooked world leaders and a system that works to enslave, not free. It is a must read for all those that blame America for everything.

I highly recommend Surrender is Not an Option.
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66 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truth is the only option!!!!!!!! November 8, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am no wide-eyed neocon. I am your typical middle of the road type. I have to say that given my political leanings, I wasn't expecting to be impressed with this book. I wasn't, not at all. But reading this book gave me a new appreciation for the hard work Bolton undertook as our representative to the UN. Bolton faced an extremely difficult battle trying to ensure that the UN would give American interests a fair chance. For too long, our country has paid the bills for this corrupt organization and got little in return for our efforts. Well, I guess we get scorn and mistreated at the hands of others, but that's really about it. Bolton illustrates how this worked out during his tenure. He also points out why giving into world opinion will prevent the world from achieving its highest purposes. In the process, it becomes clear that we should rethink our involvement in this body, for it cant work to protect our interests.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ignoring This Book is Not an Option. February 19, 2008
Just when you thought that another book on international relations would be too arcane and narcoleptic to be noticable to the general population, think again. Ever read an article in the press about why the Bush administration opposed controls on biological weapons, and wonder what were they smoking? Bolton deftly slices through the falsifications authored by the Ministry of Information at the New York Times and CNN, and reveals how, through diabolical skill, certain European and Third World advocates incrementally seek to cut the heart out of American sovereignty and right to defend itself. Bolton's discussion regarding the ABM treaty is particularly engrossing. Not unexpectedly come well-known critiques of the stultifying State Department bureacrats who are more concerned with appeasing ill-tempered (and often corrupt) world "community" diplomats than defending their own country, which by the way pays their mortgages in Fairfax and Arlington counties.

Even more interesting are the perhaps inevitable episodes of acrimoniousness among super-achievers such as Rice, Powell, and Rumsfeld. President Bush remains above the fray and like a dad coming home from work, comes to find his kids aren't playing so well together. Another interesting fringe benefit from reading this book is that one comes away with a deep education in the art of surviving a bureacracy - be it government or private sector. The lessons are palpable and wholly applicable to any sphere.

"Not an Option" is not a meditation on the fine points of multipolar international political theory. Rather, it is an unsentimental yet reflective, just-tell-me-the-facts-ma'am work of what actually happened when Bolton was in the shark tank. Whether you are writing a doctoral thesis for your Ph.D.
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117 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and Bold November 6, 2007
By Winston
A bold testimony and un-deniable evidence on the uselessness of the United Nations and US State Department. Loss of Mr. Bolton as the ambassador to that world body was/is a big loss for those people who deeply care about the freedom and security of the western world. The book is a must read for those who think positively about the United Nations. It'll change your view about that corrupt international organization which Mr. Bolton desperately tried to salvage. Good Book!
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39 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great patriot tells it like it is. Recommended. November 23, 2007
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There are basically two groups of people in this country, when it comes to the big topic of relations with allies, the UN, and US global diplomacy.

One group feels we need to "reach out" to allies and listen to them before formulating policy (or, perhaps just do what they want, so they'll stop hating us), respect and follow "international law", and for the most part, subordinate our considerable power to international institutions, which mostly means the United Nations.

The other group believes there is no such thing as "international law", it being a catchy buzzword for a collection of politics, largely unenforceable treaties, and anti-US "norming" by non-state actors; no such thing as an "international community", an absurd construct that implies a a global "consensus" which doesn't exist but from which we're constantly accused of being "isolated"; that yes, of course we should have allies and friends but pleasing them should not come before defending and promoting our own national interests, and that the UN is a corrupt and unaccountable bureaucracy which oscillates between "total uselessness" and "serious liability to the United States" - an organization that, if we're going to continue participating in at all, should at least be forced to serve as a useful tool of American interests, as was clearly the intent at its founding.

Of course, those are opposite ends of a continuum, and there are many people in the middle.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Great man with in a troubled world.
Published 3 months ago by IVAN ORLOVIC
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A complete overview of the multifaceted world status
Published 5 months ago by stephen s chandler
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Curtis Ackeret
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledgeable man
I really like and enjoy John Bolton's view points and added dimension to military stories.He's very knowledgeable.
Published 7 months ago by Diane M. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Great John Bolton, common sense, fairness and intelligence
A great patriot I could never disagree with when I listen to him on TV
Pragmatic with insight on all political subjects
A national treasure all moronic liberal americans... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mart
4.0 out of 5 stars Yes, the UN is that bad !
Good to get an insider's view of life in the cesspool. JOHN BOLTON for SECREATARY OF STATE !

The voice of reason.
Published 20 months ago by Floyd J. Nelson
5.0 out of 5 stars Reads like a legal brief but great background
Very dense and full of information it but great background into the Department of State, the Bush administration and of course the UN. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mark Tiemeyer
5.0 out of 5 stars America Needs John Bolton !
John Bolton's book "Surrender Is Not An Option" should be required reading for all persons in or considering entry into the U.S. Department of State. Read more
Published on February 23, 2013 by Ronald L. Peterson
1.0 out of 5 stars Written from the prism of a political stand point
I admire John's general approach to diplomacy, but this book is somewhat written from a biased political prism. Read more
Published on March 29, 2012 by Hezron Karanja
1.0 out of 5 stars A book to get others to defend America
It is tragic that with all the talented writers who are unable to find a publisher, a book like this can find its way into print. Read more
Published on March 28, 2012 by M. G. SFAELLOU
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Everyone was wrong about WMD's including Kerry, Clinton, Gore, France, Russia, England, etc ad nauseum.... Supply side economics has proven to work and work magnificently, see Ronald Reagan's tenure. The French and German healthcare system is lightyears behind ours in efficiency and quality.... Read More
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