Inkwell Management
Published by
Pegasus Books (2021-01-05)
Current material
Final Pages
Original language
Politics & government


Diplomacy, Strategy and the History of Wars that Could Still Happen

by Andelman, David A.

A longtime columnist for CNN and veteran correspondent for The New York Times and CBS News astutely combines history and global politics to help us better understand the exploding number of military, political, and diplomatic crises around the globe.

The riveting and illuminating behind-the-scenes stories of the world's most intense "red lines," from diplomatic and military challenges at particular turning points in history to the ones that set the tone of geopolitics today. More red lines exist in the world today than at any other single moment in history. Whether it was the red line in Munich that led to the start of the Second World War, to the red lines in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, Syria and the Middle East.

As we traverse the globe, Andelman uses original documentary research, previously classified material, interviews with key players, and reportage from more than 80 countries across five decades to help us understand the growth, the successes and frequent failures that have shaped our world today.

Andelman provides not just vivid historical context, but a political anatomy of these red lines. How might their failures be prevented going forward? When and how can such lines in the sand help preserve peace rather than tempt conflict?

A Red Line in the Sand is a vital examination of our present and the future - where does diplomacy end and war begin? It is an object lesson of tantamount importance to every leader, diplomat, citizen, and voter. As America establishes more red lines than it has pledged to defend, every American should understand the volatile atmosphere and the existential stakes of the red web that encompasses the globe.

David A. Andelman, executive director of The Red Lines Project, is a "Voices" columnist for CNNOpinion. He was awarded the Deadline Club Award for Best Opinion Writing for his CNN commentaries in 2018 and again in 2019 for his Reuters columns. He served for more than seven years as Editor & Publisher of World Policy Journal. Previously he served as an executive editor of Forbes. Earlier, he was a domestic and foreign correspondent for The New York Times in various posts in New York and Washington, as Southeast Asia bureau chief, based in Bangkok, then East European bureau chief, based in Belgrade. He then moved to CBS News where he served for seven years as Paris correspondent. There followed service as a Washington correspondent for CNBC, news editor of Bloomberg News and Business Editor of the New York Daily News. He has traveled through and reported from 86 countries. Andelman has written for Harpers, The Atlantic, The New Republic, The New York Times Magazine, Foreign Policy and more. He is a graduate of Harvard University and Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and is a member of the Century Association, Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard Club of New York, National Press Club and the Grolier Club. He is President-emeritus of the Overseas Press Club of America and The Silurians Press Club, the oldest club in America for veteran journalists.

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The book serves as a competent and thorough primer on conflict or potential conflict zones around the globe, from North Korea to Iran to the eastern provinces of Congo... Along the way, Andelman weaves into the narrative several episodes from his remarkable journalistic career. To his credit, he is sparing with these autobiographical interludes and does not oversell them. He might have coasted on his decades of reporting, but he dives into the details of the hot spots he identifies, often taking the reader back centuries before moving at a sprightly pace through contemporary events.

Review: The Washington Post

In this sweeping tour d'horizon of the world's hottest hot spots, David Andelman has synthesized, in his usual grand style, the vast insights of a long and illustrious journalistic career. Whenever the United States decides to re-engage with the rest of our planet - most of which Andelman has managed to get to and scrutinize at one time or another - and faces what's coming next, it will be an indispensable guide

Quote: David Margolick, Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair

A Red Line in the Sand," has been used for ages, but with varied, often disastrous results. Examining the history of states using the threat of retaliation to control their neighbors is essential to building a more inclusive and peaceful world. David Andelman offers a powerful testament of how today's world is filled with more 'Red Lines' than ever before and the dangers they present.

Quote: Laetitia Garriott de Cayeux, CEO of Global Space Ventures

If you're taking bets on where the next war will break out, this is essential reading.

Review: Kirkus

In this important and thoughtful book, David Andelman explores the fascinating story of how red lines have played a decisive, if not always fully understood, role throughout the recorded history of global diplomacy. Andelman traces how leaders have used and abused red line strategies through the centuries with consequences that are often unforeseen, sometimes calamitous, and every once and a while successful. Andelman's detailed study uncovers an aspect of statecraft that, remarkably, has never really been examined before, providing fresh and original insights into the geopolitics of our past and our present.

Quote: Stephen Schlesinger, Fellow, Century Foundation; former dir. World Policy Instit

In his vital new book, A Red Line in the Sand, David Andelman deftly marshals a wealth of examples from diplomatic and military history to demonstrate the life-and-death dangers of proclaiming red lines without fully thinking through the consequences. Calling attention to the dizzying web of lines in the sand around the world, Andelman urgently alerts us to the seeds of future conflicts as well as the opportunities for making peace.

Quote: Richard Galant, managing editor, CNN Opinion

David Andelman draws on decades of experience as a foreign correspondent to provide a smart, fresh take on the proliferating phenomenon of coercive "lines in the sand" that world leaders like to draw, often with disastrous consequences.

Quote: Jacques Leslie, columnist and former foreign correspondent, Los Angeles Times

Andelman moves briskly and confidently through these various hotspots, drawing on decades of experience reporting on international affairs. The result is a worthy introduction to a wide range of simmering regional conflicts that threaten global peace.

Review: Publishers Weekly

As we are learning every day, the world is an ever more dangerous place, on a hair trigger from East to West, North to South. David Andelman, one of our most experienced national security journalists, gives us a timely, insightful analysis of the dangers and prospective solutions in this very welcome book.

Quote: Tom Brokaw, NBC News

American journalist and international relations expert David A. Andelman's latest book, A Red Line in the Sand: Diplomacy, Strategy, and the History of Wars That Could Still Happen, arriving in the midst of the coronavirus crisis as international relations continue to deteriorate following Donald Trump's erratic diplomacy from China and Russia to the Middle East, even Europe, is both immediate and forward-looking - a sharp analysis of the situation in the many of the hottest areas of our planet.

Quote: Patrice de Beer, former Washington and London Bureau Chief, editorialist LeMonde

A timely and well-researched book on the red lines that shape lives of millions of people around the globe. From Russia and China to Africa and the Middle East, the number of dividing lines increases. A must for anyone looking to get a better sense of the world we live in today and tomorrow.

Quote: Linas Kojala, Founder/Director, East European Studies Center, Vilnius, Lithuania

David Andelman's book is valuable for specialists, academics and citizens who want to understand not just various conflicts around the globe, but also the origins of these conflicts and how our global political structures make future conflicts almost inevitable... It probes a dynamic that has become almost ubiquitous in global affairs - red lines that must not be (but often are) crossed-to offer a compelling framework for understanding war and peace in the 21st century.

Quote: Lincoln A. Mitchell, Arnold A. Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, ColU

Quatar: Dar Maysaloon ; Romanian: Editura Cetatea de Scaun

Quote: Inkwell

David Andelman's A Red Line in the Sand is a fantastic work, and an eye opener, vital to understanding past and present red lines that have shaped the world as we know it today. It draws lessons that can help the world become safer and more peaceful. This is especially important in light of the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has not recognized any boundaries or red lines. The recent agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel to establish formal diplomatic relations is another example of how eliminating red lines could help the greater good of nations.

Quote: Dr. Sulaiman Al Hattlan, CEO Hattlan Media, former editor-in-chief Forbes Arabia

Veteran foreign correspondent and international affairs expert David Andelman helps us understand the complex web of shifting 'red lines' that threaten to unleash conflicts that could tip our fragile world into conflagrations from which we may never recover. A tour-de-force, this book is a must-read for anyone worried about humanity's future in an era of collapsing alliances and accelerating existential threats.

Quote: Mira Kamdar, former Paris-based member of the editorial board of New York Times

Do good fences make good neighbors? Does intervention cost more lives than it saves? From the Ramayana to Syria, Andelman takes us on a sweeping tour of every important place where arbitrary borders and diplomatic bluffs intersect. Before deciding on how to tackle North Korea, Russia, Iran, and other hotspots, the next president needs to read this book.

Quote: Dr. Parag Khanna, managing director of Singapore-based FutureMap and author

Foreign correspondent David Andelman talked about the hotspots around the world that could potentially lead to the next war. This virtual event was hosted by the Overseas Press Club.

Quote: Overseas Press Club

Event video, Council on Foreign Relations (May 10th, 2021): David A. Andelman is one of the Speakers at the Virtual Meeting: Lessons From History Series: Reading Between the Red LinesDeterrence and U.S. Foreign Policy

Quote: Council on Foreign Relations

David Andelman has masterfully accomplished the most difficult possible intellectual exercise: understanding where the balance point lies between war and peace. His work, without a doubt, is an essential landmark for all those who analyze or influence international affairs.

Quote: Patrick Wajsman, editor-in-chief and publisher of Politique Internationale

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