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War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence (Paperback)
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, and IndieBound bestseller
Finalist for the Colby Award
A new, revised and updated edition of a modern classic of foreign policy, a harrowing exploration of the collapse of American diplomacy and the abdication of global leadership, by the winner of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service.
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 its citizens 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. We’re becoming 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 firsthand 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 recently unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with whistle-blowers, a warlord, and policymakers—including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson—and now updated with revealing firsthand accounts from inside Donald Trump’s confrontations with diplomats during his impeachment and candid testimonials from officials in Joe Biden’s inner circle, War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. 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.
About the Author
Ronan Farrow is an investigative journalist who writes for The New Yorker and makes documentaries for HBO. He has been an anchor and reporter at MSNBC and NBC News, and his writing has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the George Polk Award, and the National Magazine Award, among other commendations, and has been named one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is also an attorney and former State Department official. He lives in New York City.
With astonishing reporting and gripping prose, Ronan Farrow tells the powerful story of the gutting of American diplomacy…War on Peace is an indispensable and fascinating revelation of what diplomats actually do for our country and why undermining them is so dangerous. Farrow is a riveting storyteller with a great eye for colorful characters. This is one of the most important books of our time.
— Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs and professor of history, Tulane
A masterpiece….The writing sparkles.
— Dan Simpson - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Lively writing, astute commentary, and plenty of great stories, laced through with passion and outrage.
— Rosa Brooks - Washington Post
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.
— Martha Raddatz, ABC News chief global affairs correspondent
A big rip-roaring argument about America giving up on diplomacy.... This book will make Ronan Farrow lots more enemies.... [H]e's got a bunch of new scoops.
— Rachel Maddow - The Rachel Maddow Show
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, editor-at-large, Time magazine
His wry voice and storytelling take work that is often grueling and dull and make it seem…vividly human.
— Daniel Kurtz-Phelan - The New York Times Book Review
A captivating insider account of the militarization of US foreign policy.... Farrow's book sometimes reads like a spy novel.
— Jonas Ecke - Global Policy Journal
Dogged research and persuasive argument.... Farrow brings to his
book astonishing access.... [He is] an indefatigable and imaginative
— David Shribman - Globe and Mail
Has the United States turned its back on diplomacy, and on its diplomats? And if so, at what cost? Farrow makes a good case that we have,
and that the cost will be high.... He captures extraordinarily well what
the work of diplomacy means.
— Barbara K. Bodine - San Francisco Chronicle