Kofi Annan- A Man of Peace in a World of War
Kofi Annan – A Man of Peace in a World of War
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.