Sergio: One Man's Fight to Save the World
In this perfect match of author and subject, Pulitzer Prize-winner Samantha Power tackles the life of Sergio Vieira de Mello, whose work for the U.N. before his 2003 death in Iraq was emblematic of moral struggle on the global stage. Power has drawn on a staggering brea ...more
In the book we can follow the transformation of Vieira de Mello's approach toward his work as he deals with the facts on the ground in places such as Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor, and finally Iraq. Power also points out the ...more
Um livro essencial pra pensar o que a ONU precisa mudar (e o que o mundo precisa mudar) pra que funcione como se propôs a funcionar na sua criação.
"Just a book about the UN," I say as I walk briskly home.
When this book started, I could not control my eye-rolls. I have read a few books about aggrandized heroes who often forget that their being male allows them to act in ways that would be intolerable in the opposite sex. And, don't get me wrong- Sergio does this. Samantha Power does not shy away from his less savory side: the neglect of his childre ...more
This book had an extremely powerful impression on me. For one, the life of Sergio Vierea de Mello was an incredible study of philosophy in action and metamorphosis. His ideals for how the UN could be a force for good and positive change, could help people in times of need, could bring together forces that were opposed, and could solve the problems of a not particularly pleasant human civilization are on display. A complex man (who isn't?), his mission and passion for life and peace coupled with ...more
A few months ago, a friend invited me to brunch and I declined. My explanation: I needed to finish reading, for review, Samantha Power’s new 640-page biography of the late international diplomat Sergio Vieira de Mello.
“Sergio... who?” she asked. “You know,” I huffed, hoping she’d snap to recall: Of course! Vieira de Mello! The all-world geopolitical problem-solving badass! Instead, she said something about pancakes.
She must have had at least hear ...more
Samantha Power, a professor at Harvard, met Sergio Vieira de Mello when she was a journalist in Bosnia in 1994. Although he charmed her as he did everyone else, she has written a balanced biography of the flawed but dedicated and likable man. While Power impressed the critics with her research, she failed to convince all of them of her arguments. Several reviewers also noted that Power's writing, laden with detail and subtle layering, doesn't rise to the level of her Pulitzer Prize
In relation to this book, the content/subject matter far outweighs all other factors. I was introduced to Sergio Vieira de Mello in the Spring of 2012 in a presentation in my peace studies senior seminar class, and he has fascinated me ever since. You can say I have a celebrity crush on him; he's one of ...more
In 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon in response to Palestinian attacks in northern Israel, Viera de Mello was serving as the senior political adviser to the UN interim force in Lebanon, loca ...more
• Member nations seem silly when they attack the UN for being weak. The UN is exactly as strong if they want it to be. If member nations wanted the UN to be stronger; they could make it stronger.
• The UN is constantly walking the line between humanitarian force and peacekeeping/security force. In areas of conflict, being too aggressive with their role as peacekeepers ...more
I cannot say the story was inspiring, but it was a good read.
Not inspiring:I don't care how inspiring everyone says his life was... He was a mama's boy who treated women like objects: i.e.- his wife was worthy of typing his thesis but he could not be faithful to her? come on... enough said.
Good read: Not dry at all compared to the other textbooks and journals I have been reading lately. But, if you have been reading purely fiction, you ...more
I enjoyed being introduced to the world of global negotiations and support. I could see in every conflict a teetering struggle for cultural respect and what can happen when ideals clash. This book revealed ...more
Promoting the rights and welfare of the refugee is only popular among governments and the ruling classes when it benefits them politically. Money is sparse, influence is sparser, and the people who work tirelessly for the future of others are under incredible stress, with their lives and well being often under threat.
"Sergio" paints a grim, if hopeful picture for global philanthropy in war-torn countries. As a leader in the U.N. refugee commission, de Mello seemed to ...more
In the course of her career Power got to know Sergio Vieira de Mello, who was a Brazilian, brilliant UN official. Kofi Annan sent him as the UN representative to Baghdad, after the American invasion in 2003. He was blown up there. The book is very interesting because it’s about a very interesting man, but also you f ...more
I also learned a great deal about conflicts and regions I'd been sketchy on before: ...more
Most of us don ...more
The final chapters leading up to his death in Baghdad are the most gripping, and his actual death is a sad metaphor for not only the flaws of the UN but the entire misadventure in Iraq. De Mello miraculously survive ...more
This book though falls short of fulfilling Power's mission. Power has three goals in writing this book: portray more internationally-minded figures, like Sergio, and less emphasis on archaic models, such as General Patton and MacArthur; place importance on negotiating wit ...more
Sergio had an amazing career and while a flawed human, he always sought to learn from his mistakes. He truly believed in the ideals of the Untied Nations, trying to work within the definition while never losing sight of the people he was serving or hiding behind the light blue flag. I like the way the book shed light on some of the world's worst atrocities and the way countries/ NGOs/ and the United ...more
His life mission was to try to help refugees and ...more
A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, she moved to the United States from Ireland at the age of nine. From 1 ...more