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, D.C., 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 whistleblowers, policymakers, and a warlord, from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, short-sightedness, and outright malice–but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.