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War On Peace : The End Of Diplomacy And The Decline Of American Influence - Ronan Farrow

War On Peace

The End Of Diplomacy And The Decline Of American Influence

Paperback Published: 26th April 2018
ISBN: 9780007575633
Number Of Pages: 432

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US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect democratic interests around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. Increasingly, America is a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.

In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth – Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His first-hand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.

Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers – including every living secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson – War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, short-sightedness, and outright malice – but it may just offer a way out of a world at war.

About the Author

Ronan Farrow is an attorney, former State Department official, and investigative journalist who has reported for NBC News and written for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker, which published his exposes on sexual assault. He lives in New York City.

Industry Reviews

'Farrow draws on both government experience and fresh reporting to offer a lament for the plight of America's diplomats - and an argument for why it matters. "Classic, old-school diplomacy," he observes, is "frustrating" and involves "a lot of jet lag." Yet his wry voice and storytelling take work that is often grueling and dull and make it seem vividly human' New York Times

`Astonishing reporting and gripping prose ... Based on interviews with every living Secretary of State plus dozens of whistle blowers and insiders, this book is an indispensable and fascinating revelation of what diplomats actually do and why undermining them is so dangerous. Farrow is a riveting storyteller with a great eye for colourful characters' Walter Isaacson

`Ronan Farrow has scooped us all (again). And it is no wonder. A gifted writer with a powerful intellect and a passion for truth, Farrow has become one of this generation's finest journalists and "War on Peace" a book that will be required reading for generations to come. It is perhaps the most riveting and relatable book on foreign policy and diplomacy I have ever read. I have covered these same corridors of diplomatic power, these same bloody war-zones, yet on every page of "War on Peace" I was astonished by what I learned.' Martha Raddatz, author of `The Long Road Home'

`US diplomacy has failed to keep up with the times. Part insider account and part sober analysis, `War on Peace' traces the fall of American diplomacy and pulls no punches. Only someone as incisive and unflinching as Farrow could have written this book - and we should all be thankful that he did. A must-read' Ian Bremmer, Time magazine

`It's hard to imagine there is a single important diplomat [he] didn't speak to in the course of reporting this remarkable account of American diplomacy in decline ... This scoop-laden book is essential reading for those of us who yearn for peace and American moral leadership on a fractious planet' Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost

interesting but shallow


An account by a diplomat and US government insider that shows the destruction of the all important peace negotiating ability of the Us Government. However, author fails to understand the underlying economic imperative for war, and is naïve about US government intentions.

northern NSW


Long and over-written


This book is overly long for purpose. Its main thesis is the loss of the power, prestige and purpose of diplomacy and negotiation as the means of and avenues for international discourse and their replacement by the military-industrial complex. Farrow details the gradual exclusion of the State Department from White House discussions on international affairs and notes the commensurate rise in the power and authority of the Defense Department. (In Australia we would refer to DFAT and the Defence Dept.) Accompanying the decline in the inclusion of diplomatic voices in discussions has been the reduction in language abilities, the loss of inter-cultural understanding and the lack of any appreciation of the expectations of other nations. Farrow describes all these in detail with copious examples showing the steady decline in State Dept influence over decades and its precipitous drop following the election of Trump. As an Australian aware that there has been no US Ambassador to Australia for almost two years I found myself nodding at the examples. The issues are concerning, topical and important. But, in my view, they would have been better dealt with in an essay format - like, say, the Quarterly Essay format that Australian readers might be familiar with. Farrow seemed to want to include every example he had so the book bounces around in some places and is repetitious in others, making it heavy going, especially for non-Americans. Some brevity and precision would have made the ideas more easily accessible.




3.0 2


Prologue: Mahogany Row Massacre - ix

1. American Myths - 3
2. Lady Taliban - 7
3. Dick - 15
4. The Mango Case - 21
5, The Other Haqqani Network - 32
6. Duplicity - 38
7. The Frat House - 46
8. Mission: Impossible - 53
9. Walking on Glass - 68
10. Farmer Holbrooke - 78
11. A Little Less Conversation - 84
12. A-Rod - 99
13. Promise Me You'll End the War - 111
14. The Wheels Come Off the Bus - 126
15. The Memo - 137
16. The Real Thing - 144

17. General Rule - 155
18. Dostum: He is Telling the Truth and Discouraging All Lies - 164
19. White Beast - 203
20. The Shortest Spring - 222
21. Midnight at the Ranch - 237

22. The State of the Secretary - 257
23. The Mosquito and the Sword - 269
24. Meltdown - 279


Acknowledgements - 311
Notes - 315
Index - 377

ISBN: 9780007575633
ISBN-10: 0007575637
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 26th April 2018
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.54

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