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About the book
  • Published: 4 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099575863
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $22.99

Talking to Terrorists

How to End Armed Conflicts




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

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’ Independent
‘Fascinating’ Sunday Times
Now includes a new Afterword - Talking to ISIL

*Perfect for fans of The Looming Tower*

  • Pub date: 4 January 2016
  • ISBN: 9780099575863
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 432
  • RRP: $22.99

About the Author

Jonathan Powell

After studying history at Oxford and the University of Pennsylvania, Jonathan Powell worked for the BBC and Granada TV before joining the Foreign Office in 1979. In 1994 Mr Blair, then Leader of the Opposition, poached him to join his `kitchen cabinet' as his Chief of Staff. When Labour achieved its landslide victory in 1997 Powell was at the heart of the Downing Street machine. He was the only senior member of staff to remain at Blair's side throughout his time at the top of British politics. He has always maintained a low profile and has never before told his story.

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Praise for Talking to Terrorists

“Essential reading for all parties in conflict”

Patrick Cockburn, Independent

“Fascinating”

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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