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In this perfect match of author and subject Pulitzer Prize-winner Samantha Power tackles the life of Sergio Vieira de Mello whose work for the U.N. before his 2003 death in Iraq was emblematic of moral struggle on the global stage. Power has drawn on a staggering breadth of research (including 400 interviews) to show us a heroic figure and the conflicts he waded into from Cambodias Khmer Rouge to the slaughter in Bosnia to the war-torn Middle East. The result is a peerless portrait of humanity and pragmatism as well as a history of our convulsive age. Author: Power Samantha. Publisher: Penguin USA. Pages: 640. Dimensions: 8.5" x 5.75" x 1.25".
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About the Author

Samantha Power is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide. Power's work has been awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for general non-fiction, the J. Anthony Lukas Book Prize, and the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in U.S. foreign policy. She began her career as a journalist, reporting from places such as Bosnia, East Timor, and Kosovo, and has contributed regularly to The Atlantic, The New Republic, and The New Yorker. She is the recipient of two National Magazine Awards. A member of President Obama's Cabinet, she was the U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations.

Reviews

"The best way to understand today's messy world is to appreciate the inspiring life and diplomatic genius of Vieira de Mello. Samantha Powers has done a brilliant job. This is a compelling biography of a fascinating man but also more: through his life and tragic death we get a better feel for how to deal with the challenges of religious extremism, refugees, terrorism, and ethnic struggle. If only he were still alive! Read this book and weep, read it and understand, read it and cheer." -- Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and author of "Einstein: His Life and Universe" "Samantha Power has mined the tragic 2003 death of UN High Commissioner Sergio Vieira de Mello in Iraq to tell an even bigger story. For three decades Vieira de Mello courageously embodied the oft-maligned and seemingly hopeless UN mission to bring kindness, sanity, and peace to a cruel and war-torn world. He ultimately was martyred to it, struggling to salvage order out of the mess the US invasion had made in Iraq. In this captivating life story, the charming Brazilian internationalist emerges as a wry, Scotch-loving, womanizing philosopher, a kind of secular saint who wedded his considerable personal ambition to the best hopes of mankind. It is a stirring portrait of courage and tenaciously pragmatic idealism." -Mark Bowden, author of "Guests of the Ayatollah" and national correspondent for "The Atlantic," "The best way to understand today's messy world is to appreciate the inspiring life and diplomatic genius of Vieira de Mello. Samantha Powers has done a brilliant job. This is a compelling biography of a fascinating man but also more: through his life and tragic death we get a better feel for how to deal with the challenges of religious extremism, refugees, terrorism, and ethnic struggle. If only he were still alive! Read this book and weep, read it and understand, read it and cheer." -- Walter Isaacson, president of the Aspen Institute and author of "Einstein: His Life and Universe" "Surely the life and death of Sergio Vieira de Mello is a good place to begin a serious debate about the proper way to manage world order in the future." - Francis Fukuyama, The New York Times Book Review "The strength of the book lies in Power's use of Vieira de Mello's life (and death) as a well-placed window on the international community's successes and failures.... An ambitious effort...[that] succeeds brilliantly"-James Mann, The Washington Post "Her book [has] the dramatic quality of a leaked memo. . . . Sergio Vieira de Mello, with his flaws and heroism, represents us at our best and at our most helpless." -Paul Berman, Slate "[A] detailed and sympathetic biography . . . thoughtful." -The Economist "Power presents a fiercely precise, extraordinary dramatic biography. . . . Strongly argued, lacerating, and utterly human, this invaluable history will be the catalyst for soul searching and debate." -Booklist "Deeply and impressively reported." -Tim Rutten, Los Angeles Times "Chasing the Flame is an impressively researched book. Power's notes include references to more than 400 interviews, and she cites everything from interoffice emails to Vieira de Mello's high school term papers. Casting a wide net provides Power with memorable details that capture Vieira de Mello's charisma and complexity: a bottle of Johnny Walker hidden in his desk, a plastic bag full of foreign coins for payphones . . . she nimbly excavates colorful artifacts from Vieira de Mello's life." - San Francisco Chronicle "A masterful biography."-Marie Claire "In meticulous, unsentimental prose, Power portrays Vieira de Mello not as a martyr but as a man who knew too much, a tragic emblem of squandered opportunities in Iraq. . . . In eloquently asking who will keep [the flame] alive, Power proves herself a worthy candidate." -Vogue "Chasing the Flame is a brilliantly researched biography about an extraordinary man." -The Times (UK) "Power, who combines humanitarian passion and a girlish capacity for hero- worship with analytical rigor, a clear prose style and a gift for narrative, has written a remarkable book. It is not only a gripping story, which takes on the awful fascination of a Greek tragedy as it approaches the catastrophic ending. . . . It also forces the reader to think about some of the most uncomfortable issues in contemporary politics, without offering an easy or simple solution." -The Guardian (UK) "A compelling work, culminating in a brilliant and moving reconstruction of Vieira de Mello's doomed last mission in Iraq, and the frantic, disorganized rescue efforts to pull survivors from the bombed-out Canal Hotel as his life seeped away in the rubble." -The Times Literary Supplement (UK) aSurely the life and death of Sergio Vieira de Mello is a good place to begin a serious debate about the proper way to manage world order in the future.a a Francis Fukuyama, "The New York Times Book Review" aThe strength of the book lies in Power's use of Vieira de Mello's life (and death) as a well-placed window on the international community's successes and failuresa]. An ambitious efforta][that] succeeds brilliantlyaaJames Mann, "The Washington Post" aHer book [has] the dramatic quality of a leaked memo. . . . Sergio Vieira de Mello, with his flaws and heroism, represents us at our best and at our most helpless.a aPaul Berman, "Slate" a[A] detailed and sympathetic biography . . . thoughtful.a a"The Economist" aPower presents a fiercely precise, extraordinary dramatic biography. . . . Strongly argued, lacerating, and utterly human, this invaluable history will be the catalyst for soul searching and debate.a a"Booklist" aDeeply and impressively reported.a aTim Rutten, "Los Angeles Times" a"Chasing the Flame" is an impressively researched book. Poweras notes include references to more than 400 interviews, and she cites everything from interoffice emails to Vieira de Melloas high school term papers. Casting a wide net provides Power with memorable details that capture Vieira de Melloas charisma and complexity: a bottle of Johnny Walker hidden in his desk, a plastic bag full of foreign coins for payphones . . . she nimbly excavates colorful artifacts from Vieira de Melloas life.a a "San Francisco Chronicle" "A masterful biography."aMarie Claire aIn meticulous, unsentimental prose, Power portrays Vieira de Mello not asa martyr but as a man who knew too much, a tragic emblem of squandered opportunities in Iraq. . . . In eloquently asking who will keep [the flame] alive, Power proves herself a worthy candidate.a a"Vogue" ""Chasing the Flame" is a brilliantly researched biography about an extraordinary man." a"The Times" (UK) aPower, who combines humanitarian passion and a girlish capacity for hero- worship with analytical rigor, a clear prose style and a gift for narrative, has written a remarkable book. It is not only a gripping story, which takes on the awful fascination of a Greek tragedy as it approaches the catastrophic ending. . . . It also forces the reader to think about some of the most uncomfortable issues in contemporary politics, without offering an easy or simple solution.a a"The Guardian" (UK) aA compelling work, culminating in a brilliant and moving reconstruction of Vieira de Melloas doomed last mission in Iraq, and the frantic, disorganized rescue efforts to pull survivors from the bombed-out Canal Hotel as his life seeped away in the rubble.a a"The Times Literary Supplement" (UK) aProfound . . . a well-placed window on the international communityas successes and failures.a a"The Washington Post" aDeeply and impressively reported.aa"Los Angeles Times" aAs a study of leadership, it ranks with the very best. As an analysis of how to respond to the struggles of the new era in which we find ourselves, it is the defining work for our generation.aaDoris Kearns Goodwin aAn impressively researched book.aa "San Francisco Chronicle"

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