Narrated By: Ronan Farrow
Duration: 10 hours and 52 minutes
What to expect
A book for anyone interested to know more about how the world really works by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ronan Farrow.
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 democratic interests 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. Increasingly, America is 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 first-hand 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 newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers – including every living secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson – War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, short-sightedness, and outright malice – but it may just offer a way out of a world at war.
Politics & government, Warfare & defence
Listen to a sample
'Farrow draws on both government experience and fresh reporting to offer a lament for the plight of America’s diplomats – and an argument for why it matters. "Classic, old-school diplomacy," he observes, is "frustrating" and involves "a lot of jet lag." Yet his wry voice and storytelling take work that is often grueling and dull and make it seem vividly human' New York Times
‘Astonishing reporting and gripping prose … Based on interviews with every living Secretary of State plus dozens of whistle blowers and insiders, this book is an indispensable and fascinating revelation of what diplomats actually do and why undermining them is so dangerous. Farrow is a riveting storyteller with a great eye for colourful characters’ Walter Isaacson
‘Ronan Farrow has scooped us all (again). And it is no wonder. A gifted writer with a powerful intellect and a passion for truth, Farrow has become one of this generation’s finest journalists and “War on Peace” a book that 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. I have covered these same corridors of diplomatic power, these same bloody war-zones, yet on every page of “War on Peace” I was astonished by what I learned.’ Martha Raddatz, author of ‘The Long Road Home’
‘US diplomacy has failed to keep up with the times. Part insider account and part sober analysis, ‘War on Peace’ traces the fall of American diplomacy and pulls no punches. 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, Time magazine
‘It's hard to imagine there is a single important diplomat [he] didn't speak to in the course of reporting this remarkable account of American diplomacy in decline … This scoop-laden book is essential reading for those of us who yearn for peace and American moral leadership on a fractious planet’ Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost