Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations

Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United NationsThe Son Of A Balti Fireman And The First Person In His Family To Go To University, With Scholarships To Yale College And Yale Law School, John Bolton Candidly Recounts His Sixteen Month Tenure As US Ambassador To The United Nations, His Senate Confirmation Battle, And The Highlights Of His Career In Public Service In Two Prior Republican Administrations In This Explosive Book, Bolton Describes Why Practices Such As The Oil For Food Scandal, Procurement Fraud And Sexual Exploitation And Abuse By UN Peacekeepers Are Explained Away Or Ignored He Also Details How He Made Sure That UN Secretary General Kofi Annan Did Not Run For A Third Term And That Another Secular Pope Did Not Succeed Him And Why No Country Except The United States Has Done Much About Ending The Genocide In Darfur With A No Holds Barred Approach, John Bolton Provides A Unique Insight Into The Workings Of This Monolithic Institution And America S Place Within It

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  • Hardcover
  • 496 pages
  • Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations
  • John R. Bolton
  • English
  • 11 March 2019
  • 9781416552840

10 thoughts on “Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations

  1. says:

    Financial Times review says it better than I can Bolton writes badly, cannot tell a story and has no interesting new ideas Other than that, highly recommended.

  2. says:

    John Bolton is notoriously feisty, and his time at the UN was notoriously feisty as well As a journalist who covered his entire time here, I found it fascinating to read this account of what was actually going on in the meetings I spent many hours waiting outside of The strengths and weaknesses of Bolton s tenure are all on display in his writing here On the one hand, he has a commanding mastery of the issues, an unflinching willingness to call it as he sees it, and an ability to press ahead and get things done on the Security Council On the other hand, he has a complete disdain of the virtues of diplomatic niceties Few memoirs of any kind, let alone those of an Ambassador, carry as many incredulous exclamation points as this one does Although Bolton had noteworthy successes on an often divided and divisive Security Council, the willful disdain and insults heaped upon political opponents and institutions he did not respect or care for all repeatedly and unapologetically on display here did not help him advance his case in Turtle Bay with the broader membership The fact that so many desperately needed structural and management reforms here became reviled by the developing nations and died quietly in the General Assembly cannot be blamed on Bolton, but his style probably didn t help.

  3. says:

    Bolton says, in great detail, what I have long suspected about the United Nations There is no doubt that the one nation one vote principle as fraudulent an analogy to real democracy as has ever been made completely dominates the UN program, budget, and management decision making, almost entirely to the detriment of the United States Accordingly, he condludes that only one UN reform is worth the effort, and without it nothing else will succeed Voluntary contributions must replace assessed contributions If America insisted it would pay only for what works, and that we get what we pay for, we would revolutionize life throughout the UN system In addition, he gives the Department of State a black eye Too much of the permanent bureaucracy thinks it is responsible not just for implementing policy, but for setting it, no matter what the president of the moment thinks, certainly not if that president is Republican He concludes by saying that the lifelong careerists at State are overwhelmingly Democratic and liberal, not at all the ideal civil servant, which Bolton describes as one who faithfully pursues the policies of the incumbent administration, respecting the democratic legitimacy that comes from the president s election Can t argue with that But again, I m a conservative.

  4. says:

    Best line His deputy perm rep, Adam Thomson, in one discussion, said plaintively, But that s the way we do things at the UN, Which was not an argument to make to me Behind his back, staffers at UKUN called Thomson, the son of a British diplomat, Harry Potter because of his resemblance to the character from the series of children s books Sadly, thereafter, I could never look at or listen to Thomson without immediately thinking Harry and all his little friends I read this book expecting to be the worst I d ever read, but unfortunately it s a lot articulate and funnier than a lot of conservative hack books which makes Bolton all the scarier since he s fundamentally nuts It s certainly better than the film Red Dawn, which I also watched last night Again, I ll cite Ben Crair s impression of my reading material that looks like a silly book And it was.

  5. says:

    If I were purely rating the spirit of this book it would have been 4 or 5 stars, but this is a very academic style volume with nesting digressions, repetitions, and densely technical prose That Mr Bolton is a lawyer is no surprise The behind the scenes baseball about the UN is the strongest material There are ways to illustrate the endless meandering, contradictory, hypocritical machinations of the UN bureaucracy without being boring, and there are moments there the prose manages to wriggle out of the morass Bolton isn t writing to be entertaining, he s writing to be informative, but I really don t see why you can t do both.

  6. says:

    According to goodreads, this book is 366 pages It s closer to 500 Aside from that, this book is hard to read There s a lot of policy detail, and I struggled to get through it It s an important book in illustrating the problems within the U.N., and the problems within the bureaucracy of the United States While he can be self serving, he s not afraid to name names It s a book Americans need to read if there is ever to be change.Just don t try reading it all at once.

  7. says:

    John Bolton rambles arrogantly through this dry account of part of his career Constantly throwing in useless anecdotes to demonstrate his charm and influence with members of the Bush administration, this needlessly thick account is full of exclamation points and too many acronyms to keep track of A Cliff s Notes version may have be worth looking into for a look into some foreign policy decisions made during the presidency of George W Bush, but this book was simply awful.

  8. says:

    Probably one of the interesting biographies I have read You get a TON of behind the scenes info during the Bush 42 years Really interesting insights into the UN and it begins to make why the UN is so useless and chock full of anti Semites Bolton takes us into his relationship with Colin Powell when he was at State and how they worked together to improve a few things and get out of some bad ones Great book for policy wonks, UN observers and anyone interested in The Stache Highly recommended reading.

  9. says:

    The book started out very dry reading, but it was interesting nonetheless A tip for how to read the book is one chapter at a time, as they can stand alone on their own content and merit Not sure if I would read any other books by this author however, this confession is not a regret in reading this one Definitely recommend reading this book.

  10. says:

    Wow John Bolton is an unbelievably angry man Surrender Is Not An Option is surely the most polemical of any memoir I ve read coming from the Bush Administration and it ll take a great deal of effort for any of Bolton s former colleagues to match his utter disdain for liberalism, multilateralism, Europeans especially, if somewhat surprisingly, the British , the UN, Democrats, centre ground Republicans, and pretty much anyone who Bolton has found in his crosshairs throughout his life John Bolton s shoot from the hip philosophy didn t earned him many friends on the international diplomatic circuit, but you have to admire his determination to follow his own convictions, which he details throughout his career be during his time at the Reagan Justice Department through to the 2000 Presidential Florida Re count, up to his most famous posting as George W Bush s UN Ambassador.However, in spite of Bolton s obvious enthusiasm for the job, his poor sense of humour, and his inability to write a paragraph without including some quite horrendous acronyms EUroids is a particularly bad example , all serve to detract from the otherwise interesting anecdotes of his time in office at times making it quite unreadable In fact, revealingly about his character, Bolton uses his book as an opportunity to make personal attacks on his opponents in the most unsubtle way, leaving the distinct impression that Bolton is not a very nice person.

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