Who fights for America? That single question echoes in otherwise disparate conflicts in every region of the world. It is among the most important questions by which the United States is judged. Its answer is the key to decoding much of the world’s love – and hatred – of American empire.
As a young State Department diplomat working across the world, Ronan Farrow witnessed how American interests have multiplied internationally, including in places U.S. forces cannot or will not go, and so too has American reliance on foreign fighting forces to advance its objectives. Those avatars, more often than U.S. forces, are America’s face to the world.
This military aid – America’s funding, training, and arming of non-American fighting forces – has come to quietly determine the United States’ image. Pandora’s Box is the first comprehensive investigation of the practice. With vivid descriptions of conflicts on the front line and summits in the corridors of power, Farrow captures the struggle over military aid as a personal saga, as an urgent, present-day challenge, and as an essential dimension of American identity at home and abroad.
About the author
Ronan Farrow is an attorney, former State Department official, and investigative journalist who has reported for NBC News and written for the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New Yorker, which published his exposés on sexual assault. He lives in New York City.
‘Farrow draws on both government experience and fresh reporting to offer a lament for the plight of America’s diplomats – and an argument for why it matters. “Classic, old-school diplomacy,” he observes, is “frustrating” and involves “a lot of jet lag.” Yet his wry voice and storytelling take work that is often grueling and dull and make it seem vividly human’ New York Times
‘Astonishing reporting and gripping prose … Based on interviews with every living Secretary of State plus dozens of whistle blowers and insiders, this book is an indispensable and fascinating revelation of what diplomats actually do and why undermining them is so dangerous. Farrow is a riveting storyteller with a great eye for colourful characters’ Walter Isaacson
‘Ronan Farrow has scooped us all (again). And it is no wonder. A gifted writer with a powerful intellect and a passion for truth, Farrow has become one of this generation’s finest journalists and “War on Peace” a book that will be required reading for generations to come. It is perhaps the most riveting and relatable book on foreign policy and diplomacy I have ever read. I have covered these same corridors of diplomatic power, these same bloody war-zones, yet on every page of “War on Peace” I was astonished by what I learned.’ Martha Raddatz, author of ‘The Long Road Home’
‘US diplomacy has failed to keep up with the times. Part insider account and part sober analysis, ‘War on Peace’ traces the fall of American diplomacy and pulls no punches. Only someone as incisive and unflinching as Farrow could have written this book – and we should all be thankful that he did. A must-read’ Ian Bremmer, Time magazine
‘It’s hard to imagine there is a single important diplomat [he] didn’t speak to in the course of reporting this remarkable account of American diplomacy in decline … This scoop-laden book is essential reading for those of us who yearn for peace and American moral leadership on a fractious planet’ Lydia Polgreen, HuffPost