- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Interventions: A Life in War and Peace Hardcover – 4 Oct 2012
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
A fluent, compelling account... clear-eyed and honest... Annan emerges as an effective and charismatic embodiment of the UN's ideals (The Times)
A taut and timely memoir... Annan and his co-author, Nader Mousavizadeh, a former aide, embody the UN at its idealistic and yet level-headed best (Alec Russell Financial Times)
Annan doesn't shy away from admitting that he made mistakes, or that the UN needs to reform its outdated administrative structures. Yet he mounts a passionate, impressive defence of the organisation... The UN may be imperfect, but this powerful memoir shows that it is vital (Ian Critchley Sunday Times)
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 (Bill Clinton)
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. (Amartya Sen)
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 (Bill Gates)
Written as part autobiography, part history lesson, [Interventions] is infused with Mr. Annan's accounts of private encounters with world leaders (The New York Times)
From the Inside Flap
Over forty years of service to the United Nations - the last ten as Secretary-General - Kofi Annan has been at the centre of the major geopolitical events of our time. Drawing on his recollections of major figures from Tony Blair to George W. Bush, Yasser Arafat to Yitzhak Rabin, Saddam Hussein to Nelson Mandela, INTERVENTIONS offers a unique, behind-the-scenes view of global diplomacy during one of the most consequential eras in recent history.
With eloquence and immediacy, Annan recounts the highs and lows of his years at the United Nations: from shuttle-diplomacy during crises such as Kosovo, Lebanon and Israel-Palestine to the disastrous and wrenching battles over the Iraq War and the creation of the landmark Responsibility to Protect doctrine. He writes with unprecedented candour about the organization's ongoing challenges and failed efforts - the tragedies of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia, continuing violence in the Middle East, the endurance of AIDS and endemic poverty on his home continent, and much else.
Yet Annan embeds these crises within the context of global politics, revealing how, time and again, the nations of the world have retreated from the UN's radical mandate. He makes a passionate case for a United Nations that serves the interests of individuals around the globe rather than of its member states, and that intervenes, rather than stands by, in the face of humanitarian crisis. Ultimately, Annan shows readers a world where solutions are available, if we have the will and courage to see them through.
An unparalleled personal history of international statecraft, INTERVENTIONS is as much a memoir as a guide to world order - past, present, and future.
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
I am also exercised by the political imperative to engage with leaders who seem set on destruction of their own people, and/or rape their countries in the odious pursuit of personal wealth. Yet he demonstrates that to engage is not to condone. And his honest admission that UN diplomacy is rarely successful yet rarely wasted provides a reality check for those who seek a more ideologically pure role for the UN.
These are lessons that become clearer towards the end of 'Interventions', and I confess that I only truly began to appreciate this book - and this man - when I reached chapters 7 and 8, addressing wars and conflict in the Middle East and Iraq.
As with many books which attempt to provide a brief summary of events, the narrative becomes somewhat simplistic at times; on numerous occasions he uses the phrase, "I decided...", which surely belies the complex process of consultation required, and perhaps plays down the contribution of many who surely provided advice and ideas.
But this is a sobering and important read. And a fascinating insight into the world of the UN in the 21st century.
He is too much of a diplomat to be explicit, but there are constant little digs at the Americans, and Bush & Blair in relation to Iraq. One wonders how forthright Annan was, or could be, with certain nations. I suspect there is a limit on how far the UN can push its views for fear of the repercussions in future missions, for example obtaining resources/manpower. I have to say I would struggle to accept US pressure when the US owes somewhere around $1bn in dues, but then I'm not a diplomat. Annan also points the finger at poor governance and leadership in Africa - helped by his own heritage free of the taint of colonial baggage.
The problem is that you are left with a feeling that the UN is doomed to fail, torn apart by the differing objectives and viewpoints of its members, and a sort of complacency, incompetence and sometimes even corruption amongst its own staff. I want to believe the UN has a major role but time and again the reality is that the UN is behind the curve and it is hard to see how that can change unless there is an organisational re-structuring but since that would probably diminish the voice of the major powers that is unlikely to happen.
Annan's book makes very clear the extreme difficulties of the role, the enormous frustrations. That said, there seemed to me to be very little analysis or admission of failings on the part of the UN. I am sure that a lot of the blame does lie elsewhere, but some must be attributable to the internal workings of the UN and its staff.
The book is well written but it has an obvious bias towards Mr Annan's point of view. The book examines the work of Kofi Annan & the United Nations. It illustrates the problems and intricacies of forming supra national agreements and engineering sufficient "Force" to ensure the agreements work. The author highlights many different issues from his tenure as UN chief and when things have gone wrong the prose tends to blame anyone but Mr Annan. I do have a problem with some of the analysis. Mr Annan should take some responsibility for many of the ineffectual policies which the UN was responsible for during his tenure. The UN has been racked since the beginning with division and vested interests vying to dominate policy. As Mr Annan is a career diplomat, surely he knew how difficult it would be, being Secretary General and the issues and problems he would face, before taking on the position. The book is nevertheless a fascinating account of what is the ineffectual nature of the UN and how difficult it is to create unanimity amongst its members.
This is a good book and it is very well written and I would consider putting it on my reading list for University students studying IR. The main issue I have is that Mr Annan tends to blame others before he blames himself. I would recommend this book with caution given its biased text.
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
the book was bought to see whether I was just a bigot or whether he was
a statesman to be...Read more
Look for similar items by category