The Best Intentions

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

3.75 (99 ratings by Goodreads)
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In 2004, Kofi Annan was nearly hounded from office by scandal. Following the invasion of Iraq, critics, and even some supporters, began asking whether the UN had outlived its usefulness. Do its failures arise from its own structure or from a clash with a US administration determined to go its own way? James Traub, who enjoyed unprecedented access to Annan and his aides from 2003 to 2006, delves into these questions and describes the Oil-for-Food scandal, the failed attempt to act decisively against ethnic cleansing in Sudan, and Annan's sweeping reforms. "The Best Intentions" is both a fascinating fly-on-the-wall account of Annan's two terms as Secretary General and an important critical study of the institution that has carried the best hopes of the world since more

Product details

  • Paperback | 464 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 16mm | 280g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0747587280
  • 9780747587286
  • 119,349

Review quote

'If you want to understand this vexing creature with its 192 heads, The Best Intentions is one of the finest guides around, indeed, the best in recent memory ... beautifully written and meticulously researched' New York Times 'A highly readable account of the infighting and drama that have gone on behind the scenes over the past fifteen years, along with often amusingly acerbic thumbnail sketches of several prominent characters' Economist 'Provides a good narrative history of most of the major international crises since Kofi Annan came to prominence ... a worthwhile book' Irish Independent 'Some want the world to be reformed by getting rid of the UN. That would be catastrophic. What the world needs is the UN reformed. In this book, Traub tells the story of how difficult that is - and why it is so important' Bonoshow more

About James Traub

James Traub has been a contributing writer for the New York Times magazine since 1998, where he writes about international affairs, US foreign policy and national political issues. He has written three books, including City on a Hill and The Devil's Playground. He lives in New York more

Review Text

"A heartbreaking book about a hardworking idealist's frustrated attempts to restore the stature of the cumbersome United Nations in a world dominated by "the preemptively belligerent America"." (Kirkus)show more

Rating details

99 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 19% (19)
4 40% (40)
3 37% (37)
2 3% (3)
1 0% (0)
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