Provocative commentaries on international issues, social development, and people and places by a veteran journalist
Superb reporting, dramatic narrative, mark this extraordinary book about Kofi Annan and the United Nations
Published on November 9, 2006 By Pranay Gupte In Politics
I have been a longtime fan of the writings of James Traub, so my view of his books is obviously somewhat biased. Nevertheless, I was astonished by the depth of his reporting about the United Nations and Kofi Annan. In view of the immense access that the U.N.'s outgoing secretary general gave him, Traub would have been surely tempted to write a hagiography. But he shows himself to be the consummate professional. This book is as much about Annan's setbacks and mistakes as it is about his triumphs. If Annan is as fair-minded as he's reported to be, then he is bound to be impressed by Traub's efforts. I doubt there's ever been such an extensively detailed work about the U.N., that beleaguered 192-nation body that has so much potential and yet has been handicapped by the mismanagement, corruption and straying from its mission of promoting global peace and security, and sustainable economic development. Traub captures it all -- the daily drama of development, the anguish of peacekeeping forces, the thankless grind of the U.N.'s field workers, the haughtiness of some of the organization's top povertycrats. Traub's narrative also makes for marvelous reading -- it's an unputdownable book. I predict that even those who might not be necessarily friends or critics of multilateral diplomacy will enjoy "The Best Intentions."
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