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Stalling For Time Paperback – 2 Jan 2018
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"Riveting . . . the most in-depth and absorbing section is devoted to the 1993 siege near Waco, Texas."--The Washington Post"Captivating . . . an electrifying read . . . No Hollywood movie can top this story for thrills, suspense, or action."--New York Journal of Books "Certain to fascinate true crime readers . . . The compelling centerpiece of the book is Noesner's analysis of 'what went wrong at Waco' with the Branch Davidians."--Publishers Weekly "Engrossing . . . The book is also an intimate history of contemporary American militia movements."--New Republic
"Gary Noesner is a gripping storyteller, and man, does the guy have stories. It's like watching an emotional bomb squad defuse explosive personalities. The big surprise is how recently the FBI learned the basic tenets of what makes a man put the gun down, a discovery story as captivating as the hostage standoffs that illuminate it." --Dave Cullen, Author of Columbine "Gary Noesner has done something remarkable with this book, turning the murky process of hostage negotiations into a set of predictable and clear routes to bargaining success."--Robert B. Cialdini, bestselling author of Influence: Science and Practice "Tortured people, desperate moments, dangerous solutions. Stalling For Time takes us deep into the lethal world of hostages, sieges, and terrorsism. Gary Noesner, a thirty year veteran of the Bureau, has written a landmark work that's both a nail-biting thriller and an expose of timely importance. This is a must-read not only for true crime fans but for every cop and G-Man in the country."--John Huddy, bestselling author of Storming Las Vegas "Stalling for Time reads with the page-turning intensity of a first-rate thriller, only everything here is, remarkably, true. In finally opening up about his craft -- about his 30 years spent reasoning with unreasonable people in situations that were literally life and death -- Gary Noesner has written an essential book about the fine art of communication. For anyone who wants to know how to stay cool under fire, this book is indispensable."--Douglas Stone, best-selling author of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
"Gary Noesner has written an account of his decades-long career as a hostage negotiator that is so gripping it grabs the reader by the throat. It's a spectacular read and every word of it is true."--Peter Bergen, author of Holy War, Inc. and The Osama bin Laden I Know
"An intense, immersive narrative, making [Noesner's] real-life experiences read like episodes of a good cop drama . . . vicariously entertaining."--Kirkus Reviews "The world doesn't need me to tell them that Gary Noesner has been there, and done that. There are hundreds of living victims across the globe that are living testament to Gary's abilities to successfully negotiate, or teach others effective crisis negotiation." --Lt. Tom Monahan, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Dept., Director, Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Center
About the Author
Gary Noesner retired from the FBI in 2003 following a thirty-year career as an investigator, instructor, and negotiator. An FBI hostage negotiator for twenty-three years of his career, he spent ten years as the bureau's Chief Negotiator. Following his retirement from the FBI he became a Senior Vice President with Control Risks, an international consultancy. Noesner has appeared on numerous television documentaries produced by A&E, the History Channel, Discovery, TLC, and National Geographic. He is the founder of the National Council of Negotiation Associations, which represents about eighteen organizations and thousands of law enforcement negotiators nationwide. He speaks at law enforcement and corporate events and continues to consult part-time.
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Ever watched those TV police series and wondered how the authorities could mess it up so badly by ignoring the hostage negotiators and storming in full force. Hollywood can be dramatic indeed. When on the other hand you read Gary Noesner first hand experiences as FBI hostage negotiator you realize that Hollywood can be also pretty accurate.
Reading Gary's experience as FBI hostage negotiator is like reading on the internal history of the FBI over 2 decades. And it is fascinating to read how the FBI evolved over time for the better - with the sad message that improvements often only happened after mistakes were made during certain standoff situations (Waco and others). His autobiographic view and his personal impact on the hostage negotiation approaches are clearly explained and illustrated by many well known hostage cases.
Gary Noesner points out frequently in this work that just listening as a skill was often enough to allow hostage situations end for the best. Creating and allowing time to have a situation cool down first, followed up by listening does take time. The `stalling for time' strategy is certainly a powerful tool to apply in such high risk high pressure situations and these are nicely illustrated in this book by real events.
The book reads very smoothly. Many high profile hostage situations are described in detail and especially if you want to read a book with a deeper look into the history of the FBI I would highly recommend this book. As a pure negotiation book I would suggest other books though such as `Negotiation Genius' and `Bargaining with the Devil'. Similar and also worthwhile to read is `Negotiate and Win' by Dominick J. Misino (as former NYPD Negotiator).
Chapter 1: It's time to die
Chapter 2: My start
Chapter 3: My first major siege (Amtrak Silver Star, 1982)
Chapter 4: Trouble abroad (TWA Flight 847, 1985)
Chapter 5: Crisis intervention: Listen and Learn (USS Yorktown)
Chapter 6: From success to hubris (Talladega Federal Correctional Institution Alabama, 1991)
Chapter 7: Negotiating with the sinful messiah (Waco, 1993)
Chapter 8: Picking up the pieces (Southern Ohio Correctional Facility)
Chapter 9: A hell of a siege (Justus Township, Montana)
Chapter 10: Prepare the missiles (Davis Mountain Texas, 1997)
Chapter 11: No shortage of challenges (Vieques Island, Puerto Rico 2000)
Chapter 12: Being our best when others are at their worst (Washington sniper, 2002)
Some good, practical examples of negotiation principles being used to save lives. Very much a US standpoint, which can be quite different to other countries, particularly in terms of the use of fatal force.
VERY good value and a recommended read for anyone with an interest in negotiation, Armed Policing and incident command.
Worth reading alongside Cialdini "Influence".
I could'nt have purchased a more fitting read than Stalling for Time.
Now, I have views on negotiation as I do a great deal of commercial negotiation. It is a fact that EVERYONE negotiates almost every day. The child who "will be good if given that toy", the husband that wants to go away for the weekend to play golf and who would buy a car without trying to negotiate a lower price? The next level is the kind of stuff I do, where `deals' are negotiated and discounts and rebates are pushed for, the bottom line difference to an organisation can be substantial.
But there is another level, where negotiation skill can result in lives being wasted or saved. Where the wrong phrase or tactic does not negate a 1% discount, but could result in the loss of countless lives. Enter Gary Noesner a retired FBI negotiator who shares a view at the real sharp end. Detailing his career and some of the big cases he worked on, this avoids unnecessary sensationalism for objective detail which is fascinating. He was, for instance, heavily involved in the Waco siege and offers great insight into what went on and what went wrong.
Noesner gives us a spread of cases and his experience, but opens the eyes to the true physiological elements of a negotiation situation. How every word or phrase can make a difference in a situation that most of us would have no idea how to handle.
This is not a `heavy' book on physiology nor is it fast paced action but it is enthralling and provides true perspective to something often portrayed in the movies as something brief and simplistic.
Thoughtful and enlightening reading.
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