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In the Shadows: True Stories of High-Stakes Negotiations to Free Americans Captured Abroad (Hardcover)

In the Shadows: True Stories of High-Stakes Negotiations to Free Americans Captured Abroad By Mickey Bergman, Ellis Henican Cover Image
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A top negotiator in countless high-stakes missions to free Americans captured abroad and held in the world's scariest prisons takes readers inside the dramatic and shadowy world of international hostage rescue.

Who else are their desperate loved ones supposed to call? Mickey and his tight team of savvy negotiators at the Richardson Center for Global Engagement are the go-to rescuers of last resort, carrying on the high-stakes, round-the-world mission of master negotiator Bill Richardson. Mickey and his team do what U.S. government officials are often unable or unwilling to do: sit down with America’s toughest adversaries and find creative ways to bring our people home.

That's life In the Shadows.

This is the heart-pounding story of these urgent negotiations, what it’s like to climb inside the minds of some of the world’s most notorious strongmen, where the clear divisions between good and evil are replaced by a thousand shades of gray.

The hard work is done far from the glare of media publicity. The negotiations don’t follow traditional diplomatic rules. As innocent Americans sit behind bars in hellhole foreign prisons, Mickey and his colleagues stop at nothing to get our people home. And these cases almost never go as smoothly as they should, as the independent negotiators navigate between U.S. government officials and some of the world’s most headstrong leaders. And as soon as one American is freed, Mickey is off on another dicey mission to Moscow, Caracas, Naypyidaw, Pyongyang, or some other complex foreign capital. These painstaking campaigns require creative thinking, hardball pressure tactics, excruciating patience, and a genuine sense of compassion for the anxious families whose lives are thrown into turmoil when a loved one is imprisoned abroad.

In Mickey Bergman's own words, In the Shadows tells the hidden story of these high-drama rescue campaigns. The crafty negotiating strategies. The strong-willed foreign leaders. The emotional rollercoaster of being responsible for innocent American lives. The exhilaration when another American is released from a foreign prison—and the terrible letdown when a promising effort hits another maddening roadblock. Mickey recounts his unique relationship with his mentor, the late, great Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, ambassador to the United Nations and legendary negotiator. He shares the wrenching closeness he develops with the desperate families he serves, who often have nowhere else to turn. He offers a detailed account of his one-on-one interactions with Washington’s top power players, both Democrats and Republicans, and some of the world’s most isolated and misunderstood heads of state.

For readers who want the full, searing story of these life-or-death rescue missions and the fascinating people behind them, it’s all In the Shadows. As Mickey Bergman and New York Times bestselling author Ellis Henican make clear on every page, international diplomacy isn’t just for government officials anymore.

About the Author

Mickey Bergman directs Global Reach and the Richardson Center for Global Engagement, non-governmental, non-profit organizations that negotiate the release of political prisoners and hostages around the world. A special-operations veteran of the Israel Defense Forces, he has spent the past decade freeing Americans from some of the most complex and insulated countries on earth, including Iran, North Korea, Russia, Venezuela, Syria, Gambia and Sudan. He is an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Walsh School of Foreign Service, where his graduate courses focus on the art of emotional intelligence in international relations. He was nominated for the 2019 and 2023 Nobel Peace Prize alongside former Governor Bill Richardson.
Ellis Henican is a Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper columnist and a New York Times bestselling author. His website is

Praise For…

"One person with intelligence, creativity, and drive can make all the difference in the world—in ways that governments are often unable to. In In the Shadows, Mickey Bergman takes readers inside his heroic campaign to free innocent Americans from hellhole prisons abroad. On his heart-pounding journey into the scariest countries on the planet, Mickey proves it over and over again: The future of diplomacy is on the fringe, and individual courage is everything."—Walter Isaacson, New York Times bestselling author of Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and The Code Breaker

"Mickey and Governor Richardson are a big part of why I’m home. They traveled to Russia, put their own lives at risk, called on their deep relationships, and educated and communicated compassionately with my family and my team – whatever it took to bring me home. I am still astounded by their passion, experience, and deep commitment to the cause of reuniting families."—Brittney Griner, WNBA and Olympic star; freed from wrongful detainment in Russia

Product Details
ISBN: 9781546004752
ISBN-10: 1546004750
Publisher: Center Street
Publication Date: June 4th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English