War on Peace by Ronan Farrow (Review)

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War on Peace:  The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence

By Ronan Farrow

Published by W. W. Norton & Company

© 2018

392 Pages, Including Source Notes & Index

ISBN: 978-0-393-65210-9

$27.95 USD

Most of us are poorly informed, especially where foreign policy is concerned.  When we follow that topic, we often fall back on lightweight, centre-right or far-right sources.  Real journalism tends to go over our heads, and even when it doesn’t it seems tedious.

War on Peace:  The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence is real journalism which is not tedious.  That may be why it’s on bestseller lists, but I question whether very many of the people who buy this book will actually read it.

They should read it, at once.  Read it while the information is still fresh.  When the paperback edition is issued, it should contain updates.

War on Peace also includes history, which may be subject to revision although it doesn’t really change.  Don’t count on the author revising historical accounts, unless a correction is needed.  However, he will be expected to fill in readers on new developments.

Mr. Farrow’s book addresses longtime trends as well as recent Trump disasters which are undermining the U.S. State Department’s ability to negotiate with other countries.  Diplomats have been replaced by generals, and political considerations (which have always been unavoidable) have caused failures that may be permanent.

The author’s credentials are overwhelming.  He received his B.A. in Philosophy from Bard College aged fifteen.  Now thirty, he has a law degree as well as experience working for UNICEF and the U.S. State Department.

Mr. Farrow is now a journalist whose most recent accomplishment is reporting, with Jane Mayer, on relationship violence allegations against New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

If you read this book, pay especially close attention to Chapter Twenty-Four, titled Meltdown.  It provides a description of what led up to the recent withdrawal by the U.S. from the agreement to prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon.

I probably shouldn’t say anything else.  Just read this book, and ignore Fox News.

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