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Man Without a Gun: One Diplomat's Secret Struggle to Free the Hostages, Fight Terrorism, and End a War
     

Man Without a Gun: One Diplomat's Secret Struggle to Free the Hostages, Fight Terrorism, and End a War

by Giandomenico Picco
 

ISBN-10: 0812929101

ISBN-13: 2900812929101

Pub. Date: 05/11/1999

Publisher: Crown Publishing Group


Can an unarmed man triumph in a land of terror and violence?

Man Without a Gun is the true story of a single UN diplomat's astonishing high-wire struggle for peace in the Middle East. UN secretary-general Javier Pérez de Cuéllar called the author "more of a soldier than a diplomat." And, indeed, his life is the stuff of John le

Overview


Can an unarmed man triumph in a land of terror and violence?

Man Without a Gun is the true story of a single UN diplomat's astonishing high-wire struggle for peace in the Middle East. UN secretary-general Javier Pérez de Cuéllar called the author "more of a soldier than a diplomat." And, indeed, his life is the stuff of John le Carré thrillers. But Man Without a Gun is more than a thriller: It is a real-life voyage through the maze of the secretive Middle East, the inside account of the political maneuverings that continue to dominate today's headlines, and the moving story of one man's struggle to bring some hope to a violent land.

In more than two decades, Giandomenico Picco negotiated an end to wars in Afghanistan and between Iran and Iraq with the force of his decency and the strength of the UN. But little could prepare Picco for the danger he would face in resolving the Lebanon hostage crisis. Negotiating with terrorists was not a matter of meeting gray men in gray suits in well-appointed offices. Picco worked on the ground, alone. He was taken to meet the hostage takers themselves many times, shrouded in a black hood, racing through the darkened streets of Lebanon as masked gunmen barked orders.

His life was at risk, but he was well aware that the lives of dozens of hostages, including Terry Anderson and Terry Waite, were at greater risk. And saving them meant negotiating face-to-face—Picco first had to win the trust of the Islamic mili-
tant leader who had taken them, a well-spoken, hooded man known to Picco only by the nom de guerre "Abdullah."

The details of Picco's secret negotiations have never beforebeen revealed; until now, it was barely even known who the kidnappers were. As the chief UN hostage negotiator, Picco often had to make split-second, life-or-death decisions based on the promise of a masked informant or an anonymous official. Yet on the strength of his own word, he managed to forge an unlikely coalition among Iran, Syria, Israel, and the Lebanese groups to win the release of the captives.

"History does not kill," writes Picco. "Religion does not rape women, the purity of blood does not destroy buildings, and institutions do not fail. Only individuals do these things." Man Without a Gun is this remarkable diplomat's powerful testimony to the ability of individuals also to bring some peace to a troubled world.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2900812929101
Publisher:
Crown Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/11/1999
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
334

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