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The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power Hardcover – 6 Nov 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (6 Nov. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747580871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747580874
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 24.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,303,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


'A heartbreaking book about a hardworking idealist's frustrated attempts to restore the stature of the cumbersome United Nations in a world dominated by "the preemptively belligerent America".' Kirkus PRAISE FOR THE DEVIL'S PLAYGROUND 'A compact history of Times Square, its slow decline into porn-and-drug-fueled depravity, and its resurrection as a cleaned-up, corporate-sponsored shopping center. It offers a dizzying demonstration of just how many Manhattans have occupied the same slice of real estate.' New York Times 'James Traub's new book The Devil's Playground traces the history of one of the most legendary spots in the Big Apple.' NPR

About the Author

James Traub has been a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine since 1998, where he writes about international affairs, US foreign policy, and national political issues. He has written three books, including City On A Hill and The Devil's Playground. He lives in New York City.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
James Traub puts a human face to the United Nations through Kofi Annan, providing a detailed account of his time as secretary general. Traub takes the difficulties posed to the UN during the 1990s onwards and explains how Annan was involved during some of the worlds biggest crisis. He gives general accounts of conflicts such as Somalia, the Rwanda Genocide, the gulf wars, and how the different players in the world and more importantly the Security Council acted regarding each case.

The book shows the gentle and hopeful nature of a very intelligent man that wishes to point the world in the right directions and great difficulties he is having due to bureaucrat that is holding him back, as well as having his hands tied by the US Administration, or the threat of veto by any one of the 5 nations holding that right within the Security Council. It asks the question of what is the UN, and how does it fit in with the political agendas of some of the worlds most powerful states.

Most importantly it is a grabbing read that lets you into a world of an elite that is otherwise untouchable.

Strongly recommend to anyone who wants to have a broader view.
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Format: Hardcover
James Traub has written a lucid account of Kofi Annan's time as Secretary General. He shows how Annan's personality, a mix of hopeful idealism and bureaucratic caution, and the members' self-interest alternatively energized and frustrated the UN's ability to act usefully in the face of world crises. The old dilemma of the UN as, alternatively, an actor or merely a theatre, sometime of the absurd, is persuasively elucidated.
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