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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.
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!
The book reminds you on how difficult it is to run the UN when the member states have such divergent ideas and political motivations. Often the book recounts the UN's failures and very few of its success stories. I would not say that he blames others for the failings of the UN but rather he mentions the difficulties of getting the security council to act given the different member state agendas and priorities (these are his memoirs afterall and the narrative comes from his viewpoint). Kofi certainly doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the US. George W Bush doesn't come off looking very good, and although he says some positive things about Clinton, the Clinton administration was a roadblock to many UN efforts (i.e. Rwanda). Some of the most interesting parts of the book are when Kofi recounts behind the scenes conversations/memos with world leaders.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've ever read. As a peace advocate, Interventions broaden my understanding of critical issues about peace. It also helps me understand the politics of UNPublished 2 months ago by Lamin M Sanyang
I'll admit, I bought Kofi Annan's "Interventions" because it was $1 at the dollar store. However, I actually read and finished the book interested in the personality and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by C P Slayton
I'll start with the full disclosure: Kofi Annan is a graduate of Macalester College, and I attended and graduated from this school while he was Secretary-General of the United... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dirk M. Langeveld
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 6 months 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 6 months ago by Josh Leinsdorf
Should be top of the reading list for anyone interested in world politics, events, and history.Published 11 months ago by RC
A very diligent account from one of the propounding 21st century minds in International Development. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Collin Haynes
Great novel from the previous Secretary of Defense. Definitely a must-read for IR people.Published 11 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 19 months ago by Amazon Customer