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Sergio: One Man's Fight to Save the World [NOOK Book]

Overview


Sergio Vieira de Mello—a humanitarian, peacemaker, and state builder with the United Nations—was at center of the most significant geopolitical crises of the last half-century. Born in 1948, just as the post–World War II order was taking shape, he died in a terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003 as the battle lines in the twenty first-century's first great polarizing struggle were being drawn. This is a dual biography: It is the life story of a brave and enigmatic man who never stopped learning and ...
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Sergio: One Man's Fight to Save the World

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Overview


Sergio Vieira de Mello—a humanitarian, peacemaker, and state builder with the United Nations—was at center of the most significant geopolitical crises of the last half-century. Born in 1948, just as the post–World War II order was taking shape, he died in a terrorist attack on UN headquarters in Iraq in 2003 as the battle lines in the twenty first-century's first great polarizing struggle were being drawn. This is a dual biography: It is the life story of a brave and enigmatic man who never stopped learning and had a thirty-year head start in thinking about the central challenges of our time , and it is also the biography of a perilous world whose ills are too big to ignore, but also too complex to manage quickly or cheaply. Even as Vieira de Mello arranged food deliveries, organized refugee returns, or negotiated with warlords, he pressed his colleagues to join him in grappling with such questions as: When should killers be engaged, and when should they be shunned? When is military force justified? How can outsiders play a role in healing broken people and broken places? Vieira de Mello did not have the luxury of simply posing these questions; he had to find answers, apply them, and live with the consequences.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101195796
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/30/2010
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 909,444
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Samantha Power

Samantha Power serves in the Obama administration as the Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights. Her previous book, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award, the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award for the best book on U.S. foreign policy, and the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. She lives in Washington, D.C.

Biography

Raised in Ireland, nine-year-old Samantha Power emigrated to the U.S. with her parents in 1979. Although the family moved around a lot, Power developed an early love of—and talent for—American sports. She attended high school in Atlanta, Georgia, where her prowess on the basketball court earned her the nickname "Tower of Power." From high school she went to Yale to study history.

Far more interested in athletics than current affairs, Power dreamed of becoming a sports journalist à la Bob Costas. Her great awakening occurred shortly after her freshman year at Yale. Working in Atlanta for a CBS television affiliate, she was preparing sports highlights for a news broadcast when the live feed picked up footage from Tiananmen Square. In a 2002 interview, Power recalled her reaction: "It was one of the most shocking things I had ever seen…and I thought, 'Oh, my God. What am I doing with my life?' [That] was actually the discrete…moment in time when I decided to revisit my career plans." The sports fan had discovered there was a big, bad world outside.

After graduation, Power worked for a year with the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington, D.C., then traveled to Bosnia in 1993 as a war correspondent for U.S. News & World Report, The Economist, and other publications. She took time out to attend Harvard Law School, then "commuted" back and forth to Bosnia from 1995 to 1996. Her experiences there gave rise to the idea for a book about America's (non-)response to 20th-century genocide. Published to universal acclaim, A Problem from Hell won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.

In 2008, Power published Chasing the Flame, the story of Sérgio Vieira de Mello, the charismatic Brazilian humanitarian and U.N. diplomat who was killed along with 21 members of his staff in a 2003 hotel bombing in Iraq. More than a biography, the ambitious book views the tragic history of humanitarian crises all over the globe through the prism of de Mello's fascinating life.

Power remains a working journalist committed to bringing world's attention to the ongoing problems of genocide, human rights abuse, and health crises around the world. In addition, she has held various academic posts in colleges and universities and serves as a scholar and advisor on foreign policy.

Good To Know

From "Conversations with History," a lively interview series sponsored by the Institute of International Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, here are some of Samantha Power's thoughts...
On writing: "I definitely have heeded Orwell's maxims about simplicity: always avoid the long sentence when the short sentence will do, always avoid the big word when the short word will do; think of what it is that you're seeing in your mind, and try to find the words that describe it, rather than resorting to clichés or metaphors, just think about what you've seen."

On her mother: "She's completely single-minded. She was the Irish squash champ, and played in Wimbledon for tennis, and meanwhile got a Ph.D. in biochemistry and a medical degree, and is just an extraordinary woman."

On what she's learned from sports: "Everything. Everything. I learned to fail, and I learned to keep getting up."

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    1. Date of Birth:
      September 21, 1970
    2. Place of Birth:
      Dublin, Ireland
    1. Education:
      Yale University and Harvard Law School

Table of Contents

Chronology xi

Introduction 1

Part I

1 Displaced 15

2 "I Will Never Use the Word 'Unacceptable' Again" 34

3 Blood Running Blue 55

4 Hitting the Ground Running 75

5 "Black Boxing" 97

6 White Car Syndrome 115

7 "Sandwiches at the Gates" 134

8 "Serbio" 159

9 In Retrospect 180

10 Damned If You Do 191

Part II

11 "Giving War a Chance" 225

12 Independence in Action 249

13 Viceroy 265

14 Benevolent Dictator 286

15 Hoarding Power, Hoarding Blame 303

16 "A New Sergio" 323

Part III

17 "Fear Is a Bad Adviser" 347

18 "Don't Ask Who Started the Fire" 374

19 "You Can't Help People from a Distance" 396

20 Rebuffed 421

21 August 19, 2003 451

22 Postmortem 496

Epilogue 517

Acknowledgments 536

Notes 542

List of Interviews 592

Index 597

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