With no-holds-barred candor, the straight-talking former ambassador to the United Nations takes readers behind the scenes at the U.N. and the U.S. State Department and reveals why his efforts to defend American interests and reform the U.N. resulted in controversy. A veteran of three Republican administrations and a nominee for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize, Bolton shows how the U.S. can lead the way to a more realistic global security arrangement for the twenty-first century and identifies the next generation of threats to America.
The son of a Baltimore firefighter and the first person in his family to go to college with scholarships to Yale University and Yale Law School, John Bolton studied with pre-eminent conservative thinkers Robert Bork and Ralph Winter. After law school, he experienced the "Reagan Revolution" first-hand in Ed Meese's justice department--where the American judiciary was fundamentally reshaped. His diplomatic skills were honed working with Secretary of State James Baker during the presidency of George H. W. Bush, and serving in the administration of President George W. Bush as Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.
In this revealing memoir, he candidly recounts his appointment in 2005 as Ambassador to the United Nations, his headline-making Senate confirmation battle, which resulted in his recess appointment, and his sixteen-month tenure at the United Nations. Bolton offers keen insight into such international crises as North Korea's nuclear test, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, the genocide in Darfur, the month-long negotiation that produced the controversial end of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah, and more. Recounting both his successes and frustrations in taking a hard line against weapons of mass destruction proliferators, terrorists, and rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, he also exposes the operational inadequacies that hinder the U.N.'s effectiveness in international diplomacy and its bias against Israel and the United States. At home, he criticizes the pernicious bureaucratic inertia in the U.S. State Department that can undermine presidential policy.
A fascinating chronicle of the career of a distinguished lawyer and diplomat who has fought to preserve American sovereignty and strength at home and abroad, Surrender Is Not an Option is the candid memoir of one of America's outstanding statesmen that is sure to become required reading for everyone interested in international affairs.
John R. Bolton is a senior fellow at AEI.