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Master Negotiator: The Role of James A. Baker, III at the End of the Cold War

Books@Wilson logoMaster Negotiator book cover


Archway, 2020


Books@Wilson logoMaster Negotiator book cover


As secretary of state, James A. Baker III played a critical role on the world stage in the final years of the Cold War as the Soviet Union unraveled.

His political sense and the ability to test Soviet leaders, negotiate insoluble problems in the Middle East, charm friends, and achieve the placement of a unified Germany in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization were unmatched.

Diana Villiers Negroponte, an author, lawyer, and professor, highlights how Baker mobilized a coalition of international military forces, including the Soviets, to repel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait.

Baker seduced Israeli and West Bank Palestinians to meet face to face and begin the Oslo peace process and ended two civil wars in Central America. While he was initially hesitant about the Nunn Lugar bill to safeguard Soviet nuclear weapons, he became a driving force to transport nuclear material to secure sites in Russia.

The author also highlights Baker's failures, such as the inability to hold Yugoslavia together or to provide sufficient funds to stop the collapse of the Soviet economy.

With a foreword written by former President George H.W. Bush, this book reveals Baker's skills as a statesman-and explores how he changed the world.

About the Author

Diana Villiers Negroponte

Diana Villiers Negroponte

Global Fellow; Author "Master Negotiator: James A. Baker’s Role at the End of the Cold War"
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History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more