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Publisher's Summary

A harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership.

American diplomacy is under siege. Offices across the State Department sit empty while abroad, the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We're becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.

In an astonishing account ranging from Washington, DC, to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and North Korea in the years since 9/11, acclaimed journalist and former diplomat Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience in the State Department 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. Farrow's narrative is richly informed by interviews with whistle-blowers, policymakers, and a warlord, from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice - but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.

©2018 Ronan Farrow (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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Gifted Author

I’ve read a lot of excellent books lately but this book is the most beautifully written book that brings one alone through the author’s travels in Afghanistan and Africa and the political disarray in Washington DC. This 32 year old author has lived a lifetime and generously shares his experiences and relationships with his readers. I loved this book!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Jimmy
  • Powell, OH, United States
  • 04-24-18

Well Timed and Authoritative:

The conclusions of this well written and meticulously researched book are hard to dismiss as “fake news.”

Farrow writes to all audiences, and the interviews offer something new about each party.

America has always been served by many tools in the “toolbox” with diplomacy ranking among the most effective. Farrow provides convincing evidence of why losing this capability only serves our enemies.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

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  • TH
  • 05-03-18

I guess we really are present at the destruction

This book is a masterpiece. This book was a joy to read. And this book terrifies me. I still have hope though, because more incredible people like Richard Hollbroke and Ronan Farrow are working to end this war and make peace work again.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Fort Lauderdale, FL, United States
  • 04-28-18

I feel smarter having read this book.

In an age wherein stupidity, superstition, and paranoia and celebrated, we have in this book and incredibly well thought out and researched, intelligent narrative. It illustrates clearly the perils of our current political path. Carefully and methodically the author spells out in a historical timeline the hits and misses of our country's foreign policy. Mr. Farrow's credentials for writing this book are unparalleled. His delivery is unadorned and direct. I could feel the synapses in my brain grow stronger as I listened. If you have any interest in the subject (you should) this is an excellent resource.

19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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This book is everything!

A deep dive into the complex importance of the state department and the potential consequences that we are all sure to suffer if this institution continues to be neglected and stripped.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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The lights are going out all over ... I do not think they will be lit again in my lifetime.

This book is as exhaustive as it is dark. It chronicles the administrations of my life and reinforces my feeling that we have not been well served since Ike. For the record, I reserve, in part, the Kennedy presidency as it was never finished.
Eisenhower famously warned of the rise of the military industrial complex, which the old amoung us remember as "The Merchants of Death". Farrow records the MIC taking over international relations with the active encouragement of sixty off years of executive leaders of both parties. Hopefully, the Chinese will do better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Sad slow death of the state dept

A book of no hope with the current fake leader in the WH...like going to a funeral of a person on crack.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Required reading for the Trump administration

Mr Farrow’s incredibly well researched account of the history (and likely future) of American diplomacy is quite dense in detail. If that seems a negative characteristic, it will be the only one in this review.

One could perceive a “Cliff notes” version of the message of the book by reading only the Prologue and the Epilogue. If one has a bit more time, read Part III also. However, to do so would prevent one from appreciating the rich depth and detail of the content within the chapters of Parts II and III (a testament to the exhaustive research effort represented by Farrow’s work).

In the end, the message of this work is a scary prediction of the dangerous road that this country is headed down, unless the fractious political situation cannot be compromised by some renewed appreciation for decency, integrity, honesty, and.........diplomacy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Infprmative.

Informative. Explains a great deal of the current state of international affairs. Scary bad situation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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The evolution of a dying art

A detailed, well written chronology of diplomacy and its efforts to achieve peace and a semblance of fair play throughout the world despite the fact that the the White House has little understanding of our diminished role in the international theatre.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful