Across the world governments proclaim they will never "negotiate with evil". And yet they always have done and always will. Why then do we ignore the lessons of this history of clandestine communication, often with devastating consequences?
Jonathan Powell has spent nearly two decades mediating between governments and terrorist organisations. Here he argues that with attention to the lessons of the past, patience, and above all political leadership, these conflicts can be solved.
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Enlightening but long winded
He gives many examples as evidence of his points, which is usually good but here it's distracting. All his examples are small micro stories done in a memoir'ish way. Too often the book reads as "... important point ... bunch of random sentences full of names of people I don't know ... short series of interesting events that I'm excited to learn about but instead we're going back to his long argument"
I suspect the book would have been better if rather than being organized as "point" then "examples", if it were instead written as case studies and lessons.