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The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  76 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Updated for the Paperback Edition

During his first term as secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan was one of the most widely admired men in the world. In 2001, he won the Nobel Peace Prize. Then the UN failed to stop war in Iraq and genocide in Darfur, and the institution was engulfed by the Oil-for-Food scandal. By the time Annan left office in December 2006,
Paperback, 528 pages
Published October 30th 2007 by Picador (first published January 1st 2006)
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Michael Gerald Dealino
The United Nations is one of the few institutions that can be said to have the respect of much of the world. During my elementary school days, October 24 of every year was marked with the donning of costumes from different countries and a brief program about the UN and its activities. I was one of those who was impresed with this institution that supposedly undertakes programs for a better world.

However, as time went by and I became more knowledgeable about the real world, it soon became clear t
Edward Mortimer has chosen to discuss James Traub’s The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power on FiveBooks as one of the top five on his subject – The UN, saying that:

Traub is a New York Times reporter and feature writer. And he had done a profile of Kofi Annan quite early in his term of office, and was obviously interested in him as a person. And then he thought, people will be interested when Kofi completes his term in some sort of insider’s account of wha
The cover image shows blurry Kofi Annan in the background with George W. Bush in sharp focus in the foreground, and it's not too misleading. Annan slides out of grasp, constant though he is among the dozens of other diplomats, technocrats, politicians, military commanders, and UN personnel who crowd the book. Sometimes it seems like Annan's amiability and hyperdiplomacy make him less interesting to Traub than the sharp-edged hawks of the Bush II administration.

Not a book I see myself widely rec
Excellent exploration of the office of the UN Secretary General. Some review of those that preceded Kofi Annan, but the bulk of the book considers Annan's tenure on the 38th floor, including Oil For Food, Iraq and the crisis in the DRC. Very readable.
Shatha M
There are books that you wish it never ends. You enjoy reading bits of it every now and it never fails to keep you thinking. This is definitely one of these books and I am enjoying it to the level that I don't want to finish it.
Great insights into the sausage making process that is the UN, the role of the Secretary General and how powerless he is, and how remarkable it was that Kofi Annan was able to achieve what he did from his bully pulpit.
An amazingly insightful and personal account of the inner workings of the 38th Floor of the UN from the early 1990s to 2006.
Jen Hill
Awesome book if you want to learn more about how the UN Security Council works and what a kick ass man Kofi is.
Jun 21, 2008 Jrohde rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: UN fans
good look at a well meaning Sec Gen of UN - informative
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