Ronan Farrow: Inside the War on Peace


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May 04 2018 31 mins   3

Iran, North Korea, Syria, Brexit, Paris Agreement, China. Prime Minister Abe, Macron, Merkel, Xi, a fellow named Putin. At a time when U.S. foreign policy – when diplomacy itself – requires as much clarity and coordination and skill as it has in decades, ours has been going through – to put it diplomatically – a major transition.You know the headlines: Thousands of State Department positions unfilled. Budgets slashed. Tillerson fired. One day we have the world’s biggest button; the next, we’re ready to travel across the world for a summit with a leader who just months ago was a madman.How’d we get here?That’s what Ronan Farrow has pieced together – through exceptional storytelling and just plain reporting – in his new book “War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence.” Farrow did the work, talking with every living Secretary of State. And what he’s pulled together is the story of not only the shrinking, but also the militarization, of U.S. foreign policy. And to be clear: It didn’t start with Trump.You might have heard of Farrow. He’s a bit ubiquitous and, if you ask me, extraordinary. He just won a share of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for public service: his The New Yorker articles helped to uncover the Harvey Weinstein sexual abuse allegations and played an important part in fueling the #MeToo movement. He has been a lawyer, diplomat, journalist, and a Rhodes Scholar. He worked in the Obama State Department as Special Adviser for Humanitarian and NGO Affairs in the Office of the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, among other roles.And as you’ll hear, he’s also extremely gracious, which is not a bad quality, even if you’re no longer a diplomat.