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Disarming Strangers

3.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0691010069
ISBN-10: 0691010064
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The story deftly told in this weighty but engaging book may seem unfamiliar, says the author, because "key parts...never appeared in the news." Sigal (Fighting to a Finish, LJ 6/15/88) drew up the New York Times editorials about Korea under Presidents Bush and Clinton and accordingly thought he knew what had happened. Nevertheless, he discovered the inside story only when he visited major players and reviewed key documents (many reproduced here) for this book. Realpolitik policies of unilateral coercion failed, argues Sigal, partly because of South Korea's intransigence and U.S. intelligence snafus. Negotiations led by Jimmy Carter, however, went from the brink of war in 1994 to "open covenants, privately arrived at." Sigal offers disturbing and enlightening insights into the reasons why news coverage left this critical story untold, how "cooperating with strangers" replaced coercion in "getting to yes," and the significance of this liberal challenge to "realism" in dealing with nuclear crisis. Recommended for all public affairs and international relations collections.?Charles Hayford, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Winner of the 1998 Book of Distinction on the Practice of Diplomacy, The American Academy of Diplomacy

"Sigal makes it disturbingly clear how close the world came to war in Korea in 1994. The product of hundreds of interviews, Disarming Strangers is also the most rigorously detailed account of U.S. policy towards North Korea yet published, and it will remain so for many years.... An important and superbly researched book."--Michael J. Mazarr, Survival

"This is a thought-provoking and disturbing book on American and North Korean diplomatic relations. Disarming Strangers is also an extremely well-researched study."--Bill Drucker, Korean Quarterly

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Product Details

  • Series: Princeton Studies in International History and Politics
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691010064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691010069
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #383,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
Bias on the part of American policy-makers affected U.S. nuclear diplomacy toward North Korea. If the U.S. would not have maintained such a bias, negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea would not have been as difficult. That is the author`s main point, but what he overlooks is not an analysis of why U.S. policy-makers, from the begining of Korean War and beyond, maintained a bias, This drawback notwithstanding, the book contains many interviews and documents, and is, therefore, a historically important study.
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Format: Paperback
There are some good aspects of this book analysing the ins and outs (mostly outs) of United States policy toward North Korea and its nuclear program. But the book has one enormous drawback: it treats everything that the United States and its allies did with suspicion, while giving North Korea every benefit of the doubt. I did not understand the expression "blame America first" until I read this book. There is nothing in this book about North Korean terrorism or attacks on the South Korean Blue House. Mr. Sigal treats North Korea as if it were Canada. It is not. His good points would come through better if he was not so one-sided.
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