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An inside look at the subterranean exchanges that occur between governments and terrorist organisations.

Now includes a new Afterword - Talking to ISIL

Across the world governments proclaim that they will never ‘negotiate with evil’. And yet they always have and always will.

From jungle clearings to stately homes and anonymous airport hotels, Talking to Terrorists puts us in the room with the terrorists, secret agents and go-betweens who seek to change the course of history.

Jonathan Powell has spent nearly two decades mediating between governments and terrorist organisations. Drawing on conflicts from Colombia and Sri Lanka to Palestine and South Africa, this optimistic, wide-ranging, authoritative book is about how and why we should talk to terrorists.


Essential reading for all parties in conflict

Patrick Cockburn, Independent


Michael Ignatieff, Sunday Times

This is an inspiring book. You’ll enter the New Year shaking hands with all.

Kirsty Brimelow, The Times

This is an unusual, indeed a unique, book

Oliver Miles, Guardian

The book is an enthralling case study of the art, in which Powell carefully establishes his argument for why dialogue with terror groups is usually necessary

Anthony Loyd, New Statesman

It is a witty, light-footed, anecdote-rich history of the recent art of talking to terrorists

Justin Webb, The Times

Thoughtful, well-structured, intelligent and well-informed

Conor Gearty, Irish Times

Intelligent and insightful book on conflict resolution

Andrew Lynch, Sunday Business Post

[An] absorbing and authoritative study

Michael Ignatieff, Sunday Times

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    January 4, 2016


    432 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Dymocks
    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    • The Nile

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    October 2, 2014

    Vintage Digital

    432 pages

    Online retailers

    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • iBooks
    • Google Play EBook AU
    • Kobo Ebook
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks

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