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Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight Paperback – April 12, 2011
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Drawing from a remarkable range of real-life stories, Mnookin offers his thoughtful guidance in disputes of all sorts where the temptation is to demonize:
The CEO of a small high-tech company learns that his joint-venture partner, a big foreign corporation, has been secretly cheating him under a license agreement; IBM discovers that Fujitsu, its largest competitor, has copied its software; the San Francisco Symphony is torn apart by poisoned labor-management relations; divorcing spouses, each feeling wounded and betrayed, disagree about custody and support; three siblings are in conflict about what to do with a jointly inherited vacation property.
Mnookin also examines decisions made in conflicts with evil regimes, where lives and liberty were at stake. He analyzes Winston Churchill's fateful choice in May 1940--Britain's darkest hour--to reject negotiations with Adolf Hitler and to carry on the fight. He compares Nelson Mandela's decision to initiate negotiations with the South Africa apartheid government that had imprisoned him for life with the imprisoned Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky's decision not to negotiate with the KGB for his freedom. And Mnookin evaluates with sensitivity the Hungarian Jew Rudolf Kasztner's still controversial decision to negotiate with Adolf Eichmann in the hope of saving lives.
This lively, informative, indispensable book identifies the tools one needs to make wise decisions about life's most challenging conflicts.
Read an excerpt for Bargaining with the Devil. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Mnookin, head of Harvard's Program on Negotiation, combines business, history, philosophy and psychology to present a complete set of tools for confronting "Devils," defined as any individual perceived as a harmful adversary. Examining eight conflicts, including Winston Churchill's decision to reject negotiations with Adolf Hitler, Nelson Mandela's decision to initiate discussions with South Africa's apartheid government, IBM's discovery that its largest competitor copied its software, poisoned labor-management issues in the San Francisco Symphony, and examples from his professional experience, Mnookin (Beyond Winning) provides a straightforward account of the deliberative options when facing a "Faustian tension between pragmatism and principle." Along with cogent analysis, Mnookin suggests four general guidelines for determining the best course of action: systematically compare the cost-benefit ratios of negotiating or fighting, collect advice from others, tip the scales in favor of negotiation before fully committing, and don't allow moral intuition to override pragmatic assessment. While Mnookin admits his suggestions are "hardly the last word," they will help decision-makers focus their thoughts in challenging situations. END --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The section about Nelson Mandela is for me the centerpiece of the book. The story of his heroic endurance through years of imprisonment, his deep understanding of his opponents, and his skill at negotiating while balancing passion and thoughtful restraint, mark him as one of the truly great figures of history. I am grateful to Mr.Mnookin for teaching me so much more about this remarkable man than I already knew.
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With life issues.