When Harvey Rice, president of Macalester College, introduced a young African student to his new classmates in 1959, he urged the Americans to get to know this young man, who was destined for a lifetime of great accomplishment and would be a world leader some day. Despite the eerie accuracy of Rice's prediction, however, Kofi Annan's path to destiny was anything but direct.
In Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War, former Los Angeles Times foreign and diplomatic correspondent Stanley Meisler traces Annan's very unconventional rise from optimistic student to striving personnel and budget specialist in the United Nations bureaucracy to full-time manager of the world's crises.
Drawing on personal interviews with Annan, as well as numerous friends, U.N. colleagues, diplomats, and world leaders, Meisler examines Annan's entrance onto the world stage from his emergence as an astute and disarmingly frank negotiator during the lead-up to the first Gulf War. He also reviews Annan's tenure as head of U.N. Peacekeeping, where he supervised dozens of operations and launched a campaign to make U.N. peacekeeping efforts more professional.
Meisler presents a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of Annan's "non-campaign" for United Nations secretary-general, including the role of U.S. ambassador Madeleine Albright, who vetoed the re-election of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali. Meisler's analysis of Annan's ten years in office examines such major events as the U.N. interventions in Kosovo and East Timor, W.M.D. inspections in Iraq, and Annan's failed attempts to forestall the U.S. invasion of Iraq. This unauthorized biography also delves into the events that threatened to destroy Annan's credibility and devalue his many accomplishments — the involvement of his son, Kojo, in the Iraq oil for food scandal.
Rarely does a prominent world figure cooperate with a biographer who offers no say over the book's contents, no prepublication examination of the manuscript, and no guarantee that the final product will present its subject in a positive light. Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War presents a unique portrait of this widely admired leader — with his own view of events tempered and augmented by those of his allies and opponents, defenders and detractors. It is a must-read for anyone interested in diplomacy, international affairs, war and peace, and the daunting task of saving the world from the ravages of war.
Kofi Annan: A Man of Peace in a World of War is available at bookstores...
see below for links to TRANSLATED EDITIONS of the book
see also: United Nations : A History
"Stanley Meisler, an old
and steady hand at the U.N., has written a readable, wise, balanced, and
most thoughtful biography of Secretary-General Kofi Annan. The focus is on
his victories and defeats as secretary-general and on his problems and
challenges and how he faced them. Stanley looks at the charges against him
as well as his undoubted contributions and calls it as he sees it. This book
is essential for anyone who wants to understand Kofi Annan's contribution to
the 'house' as well as the genesis and exodus of the attacks against him."
"Stanley Meisler is a
great reporter—this is a wonderfully observed and beautifully written
book. It is the definitive portrait of Kofi Annan's calm and dedicated
leadership of the United Nations at a time of huge international turmoil."
"Kofi Annan is one of the
world's most compelling figures. This is both an absorbing biography of a
remarkable man and a fast-paced history of the United Nations at the
opening of a new century. Stanley Meisler has made the U.N. story come
alive as a flesh-and-blood drama of outsized egos clashing over
"[This is] a revealing
and timely portrait of a remarkable man who has helped shape the first
years of the twenty-first century. After finishing Stanley Meisler's book,
my only regret is that Kofi Annan isn't running for president of the
United States. He'd have my vote in a heartbeat."
"Stanley Meisler is one
of America's most knowledgeable and entertaining writers about the United
Nations and its history. Now, he gives us an authoritative, highly
readable account of the career of Kofi Annan, from his days as a young
Ghanian student at MIT to his tenure at the United Nations. The book
covers Annan's successes and his notable failures, from Rwanda to,
especially, Iraq. Through Annan's career, Meisler narrates the story of
how both the Clinton administration and the George W. Bush administration
have used the United Nations as a political scapegoat. This is, in a
sense, a biography of a tragedy."
"Meisler's book is
comprehensive and well-written, a good professional job in the traditional
reporter's mode...anyone genuinely interested in the affairs of this
all-important world body, ultimate guarantor of peace and stability,
should definitely read it."
"Meisler has written an
excellent, informative book serving not only as a biography, but also as a
well written review of contemporary international relations surrounding
listen to Stanley Meisler discuss the legacy of Kofi Annan:
read interview on International Affairs Forum - February 27, 2007
Spanish - en español (Amazon.es):
see also: "Kofi Annan, de Ruanda a Irak", EL PAÍS, November 5, 2006
available in Dutch - in het
available in Danish - i Dansk :
Arabic - بالعربيه :
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