Not for the Faint of Heart: Lessons in Courage, Power, and Persistence

PublicAffairs. Sept. 2018. 256p. index. ISBN 9781568588162. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781568588155. POL SCI
Sherman started her career as a community organizer and social worker in the early 1970s and retired in 2015 as an ambassador under the Obama administration. In this position, she led the team creating the treaty that limited Iran's nuclear program. Before joining the State Department in 1993, Sherman had worked in state government and on the Hill with former U.S. senator Barbara Mikulski. This book combines personal memoir with descriptions of her policy posts and political jobs. Her account of the Iran treaty negotiations is well explored but the narrative is leavened by her commentary on women in powerful positions and the unique issues they face. Likewise, sketches from her private life illustrate the conflict and accommodations between her demanding professional roles and her personal joys and obligations.
VERDICT With clear and accessible prose, Sherman successfully illustrates how diplomacy really works. Her book will mostly appeal to policy wonks and political junkies; it will also be appreciated by readers with an interest in Iran, nuclear nonproliferation, and the intricacies of diplomacy.
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