9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiddling while Rome burns...
This is a book that everyone should read, voluntarily or not, just to see how incompetent, ineffectual and complacent our 'leaders' really are.
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...
Published 15 months ago by FictionFan
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More secretary than general
My guess is this one of those weighty coffee table books with a buying to reading ratio of about 5:1. In this regard, it shares some noble company with other autobiographies of the great and good. Which is a profound shame. For about half way though this book, suspicion that this is yet another attempt to (re)write history lest future historians take a less positive view...
Published 4 months ago by Ian Smith
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5.0 out of 5 stars Helps you understand what you always knew to be true,
This is a detailed, and very personal account from Kofi Annan (who's credentials need no padding in this review) and is certainly an absorbing read.
Charting over 40 years of UN service, it gives a glimpse into the inner workings of the joke that is International politics.
The book has a somewhat depressing air to it, as you realize (at least the more cynical of us) as the pages turn that the lumbering machine of the United Nations, is ineffectual at best, and totally inactive at worse.
Mr Annan is candid in his delivery, and although he may be criticized by what some would call sentimental day dreaming, he offers a clear account of the frustrations of what could be done to make this World a better place. Like so many other things, it leaves a hollow feeling when you come away from reading this, knowing we could, and should do better.
I would recommend this read to anyone, but specifically to what I term political whiners and do gooders, who would do well to understand the constraints and apathy on important topics, at what you would think to be the highest levels. 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest account of a turbulent ten years,
Kofi Annan's biography is a well-written and detailed account of his 40 years at the UN. It briefly deals with his rise through different agencies within the UN, but justifiably focuses upon his two term tenure as UN Secretary General where issues such as Darfur, Iraq, HIV/AIDS, East Timor and Kosovo stoked both admiration and disgust towards the work of the UN.
Though not dealt with in chronological order each crisis is discussed with clarity and includes details and thoughts, not only his own, but also of world leaders, that would not previously have been known to even the most avid reader of international affairs. It is this detail that allows you to see not only the fantastic and painstaking work that has been achieved during his tenure, such as East Timor, but also the significant failures, both of will and leadership, during his tenure, such as Darfur.
It is through reading accounts of the events above that the importance of the UN as not only the guardian of world peace and security, but also, more significantly, arbiter of military intervention resolutely confirmed. However, it also highlights the need for significant structural change, which was advocated by Kofi Annan, to be achieved at a faster pace so that actions in support of the UN Charter can be taken without being vetoed or usurped.
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended,
KA was Secretary General of the UN during some of its most critical years and his stewardship had highs and lows. The biggest low was Rwanda and the failure to intervene. He says the UN could and should have done more to sound the alarm and rally support. On the plus side he supported his deputy in criticising the USA for using the UN almost by stealth as a diplomatic tool while failing to stand up for it. In his retiring speech he highlighted 3 major issues: an unjust world economy, world disorder and the widespread contempt for human rights and the rule of law. This is his personal biography of global statescraft.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why the UN is toothless?,
I have often been critical of the UN and saw it as a toothless and expensive (for soem countries) organisation that now and again manages to do some good. Maybe that is a little unfair but this book perhaps goes someway to explain why the UN fails and the frustrations at trying to make it work. It is a thankless task and one that is probably not going to change. Annan is a career diplomat but I do wonder if he looks to blame others when his organsiation should accept more responsibility. Annan is well meaning but unrealistic? The book is well written, informative, and readable. Of real interest to anyone interested in the crises that this world has suffered and the part the UN has or has tried to play. A good read.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great,
This review is from: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace (Kindle Edition)
Really happy with my purchase, as I'd been looking forward to reading this for quite a while. Anna's calm, knowledgeable and humble outlook on life and the issues covered really inspire me.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enormous Range of Global Issues,
INTERVENTIONS - A Life in War and Peace
Kofi Annan with Nader Mousavizadeh
Kofi Annan was born in 1938 in Kumasi, Ghana, formerly known as the Gold Coast. Much information he learned from Kwame Nkrummah, the leader to Independence in Nigeria and from his readings.
He attended 4 universities, including a Master's Degree in 1971 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technologu as a Sloan Fellow. Before joining the United Nations, readers will be unaware that he held a number of jobs in a variety of commercial enterprises promoting Ghana.
During is 50 years of public service, beginning with the World Health Organisation in Geneva and thereafter 40 years with United Nations culminating in becoming Director General in 1992.
An enormous range of global issues are discussed and he questions from first-hand evidence the issues on the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and inside information from the G8 summit in St Petersburg when the issues of Hizbollah/Lebanon/Israel were gripped in conflict.
It is also interesting to read information on his 1993 peace-keeping mission to Somalia also his missions to Rwanda and Bosnia and Srebrenica.
The book of 372 pages is jam-packed with important international issues written in enormous detail and from the heart of one of the 20th C international statesmen - a man we, as readers, hold in such high esteem.
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Interventions: A Life in War and Peace by Kofi Annan (Paperback - 29 Aug 2013)