I finally got around to reading Gabrielle Rifkind and Giandomenico Picco’s The Fog of Peace after a friend recommended it for the nth time. It combines the efforts of a clinical psychologist (Rifkind) and career diplomat (Picco) in trying to achieve peace in a number of hot spots around the world. From their very different professional perspectives, they drive home the importance of the personal, empathy, and of human understanding in any peace process–or for that matter any relationship.
The details of their work separately and together are worth your attention. But as you read and enjoy their stories, be sure not to miss the key point of the book which they hit the reader with at the very beginning on p. 4.
We have learned that compassion and containment help to prevent further acts of violence. While that is certainly true at a personal level, generally, speaking, it is not applied in international conflict.
This book was written before Donald Trump and COVID-19 which reinforced their conclusions about the need for understanding what makes the people you are negotiating with tick.
The Fog of War is both insightful and a pleasure to reed, so don’t miss this hidden treasure.