Westholme Publishing
Lessons in Diplomacy from Colonial America to the Cold War


Great Negotiations
Agreements that Changed the Modern World
Fredrik Stanton

$15.95 Paperback

  • 304 pages
  • 6 x 9.25
  • 30 b/w illus., maps
  • World History/Political Science

About this Book

“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

“A thought-provoking, informative book, highly recommended for all readers interested in international affairs.”—Library Journal

“For anyone with an interest in diplomacy and political history, Stanton's book is both entertaining and informative.”—Foreign Policy Watch

“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 Negotiation, Harvard Law School

“An excellent introduction into some of the great triumphs and failures of modern diplomacy.”—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“An interesting, informative study well worth reading and pondering.” —American Diplomacy

“Stanton deftly illustrates that the power of haggling can easily rival that of any army or warhead.”—Roll Call

“Exhaustive research and careful thought have enabled Stanton to employ an extraordinary writing talent to produce a contribution to history and a source of enjoyable reading.”—New York Law Journal

“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 foibles of negotiators and homes in on the ability of the best to improvise when maneuvering on unfamiliar terrain.”—Ambassador Richard W. Murphy, Council on Foreign Relations


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 Missile 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.

FREDRIK STANTON, former president of the Columbia Daily Spectator, has written for theBoston Herald and the United Nations’s A Global Agenda. He was an election monitor in Armenia, Republic of Georgia, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Azerbaijan.


  • 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



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