About the Book

Words as much as weapons have shaped the course of history. Whether to avert, resolve, assist, or secure the outcome of a conflict, diplomacy in the modern age has had great triumphs and bitter failures, from the Cuban Missle Crisis in 1962, which narrowly spared humanity from a nuclear Armageddon, to the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, which created problems that still confront us today. Drawing on primary sources, transcripts, and interviews, Great Negotiations: Agreements that Changed the Modern World tells the stories of eight key episodes in modern diplomacy. From Benjamin Franklin securing crucial French support for the American revolution to Reagan and Gorbachev laying the groundwork to eliminate an entire class of nuclear weapons, Fredrik Stanton explains what each party brought to the negotiating table, the stakes, the obstacles to success, and how they were overcome.


Franklin at the French Court, 1778
The Louisiana Purchase, 1803
The Congress of Vienna, 1815
The Portsmouth Treaty, 1905
The Paris Peace Conference, 1919
The Arab-Israeli Accord, 1948
The Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962
The Reykjavik Summit, 1986

Praise for the Book

"Stanton has done a masterful job. He has added importantly to our understanding of the art of treaty making on which our very existence on this planet may soon depend, as shown in his detailed and terrifying account of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the tragic mistakes of the Versailles Treaty."
- Louis Auchincloss

"Stanton brings back to life both famous and some long forgotten personalities in the history of major American, European, and Asian negotiations. He persuasively makes his case for the importance of negotiators and negotiations both when wars can be kept from beginning and when wars end. He weaves in deft descriptions of the personal strengths and fiobles of negotiators and homes in on the ability of the best to improvise when manuevering on unfamiliar terrain."
- Ambassador Richard W. Murphy, Former Assistant Secretary of State

"In a time when negotiations - both great and small - continue to shape our world, this book provides an excellent opportunity to learn from the past and understand the present."
- Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize winner and former Secretary General of the United Nations

"Every professional concerned with dispute resolution and every student of negotiation has much to learn from Fredrik Stanton's lively stories of eight history shaping negotiations."
- Robert H. Mnookin, Chair, Program on Negotiations, Harvard Law School