by Douglas E. Noll

Prometheus Books, $25.00, 304 pages

Diplomacy, it is supposed to cure the ails of the world.  To stop wars, solve famines, and bring the different sides of a conflict together to work towards peace.  But often times, that peace is fragile and does not last for long. Is the problem diplomacy itself, diplomats focused on the big headline, or is it still stuck in the previous century? The answer is all three according to Douglas Noll.  He argues that diplomats still think it is the 1800s. They are using strategies that do not work in a modern world, and people rely on big names to swoop down to fix things immediately and then leave. Mr. Noll makes the case for better strategies, to focus less on the big names and more on actually getting results. His examples are mainly failed diplomatic examples, and how the issue would have been solved through mediation.

The book is good and his argument persuasive. One of the problems is the role playing examples he gives are hard to read. It moves along at a nice pace, though I wish he made room to explain some of the words he used throughout the book.

Kevin Winter