Book Review on the Third Side by William Ury

Book Review of “The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We Can Stop “by William Ury Reviewed By: Syed Shahzad Ali Class: M. Phil ( DPA) Review Submitted to: Dr. Anila Amber Dated: 17th October 2012 Book Review of “The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We Can Stop “by William Ury This is a state-of-the-art book on conflict management and negotiation by well known negotiator and mediator William L. Ury, an American National, who is world’s leading negotiation expert, he has mediated situations ranging from corporate arena to wildcat strikes, and from family disputes to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, N.
Ireland and many other places. He has also worked on the problem of how to prevent nuclear war as a consultant to The White House Crises Management Center. He received his B. A from Yale and his Ph. D. in social anthropology from Harvard University. The structure of paperback “The Third Side” is concerned, it’s 251 pager light weight with blue cover page book which is easy to carry and read any where even in a train or bus while travelling or in coffee shop or at bed time, the font of Times New Roman has been used in the book with Bold heading ; text of book is justified.
It facilitates the all state of affairs and human situations whether they belong from corporate arena to management ; labor disputes and from family crises to negotiation or peace talks between two warring countries i. e. its transforming conflict at home, at work and in the world in to Peace. This book has been written ; published in USA by Penguin Books. The title of the book is quite attractive and self explanatory for the affairs of conflict and its resolution i. e. “The Third Side ” . The cover page content, color and logo again, portray the whole theme of paperback, its xplanatory subtitle on cover page of “Why We Fight And How We Can Stop” and In logo two human have been depicted in front and the word Third has been placed in between, in which the Alphabet “I” has been presented as Human which for surely complement the main Title of Book. The Purpose of book is to diminish the possibilities of conflict and change the culture of conflict within our families, our workplaces or organizations, our communities, and most importantly within our world. The idea of paperback is to explore the reasons we are in conflict and sets forward a roadmap to resolution.

The author has given ten roles convincing manner for the prevention (Provider, Teacher, Bridge-builder), containment of conflicts(Mediator, Arbiter, Equalizer, Healer) and its resolution(Witness, Referee, Peacekeeper). These ten practical roles described as managers, teachers, parents, and citizens–that each of us can play every day to prevent destructive conflict, but much detailed has not been given about which sort of personalities can adopt to which role/s or Can anyone play the all roles simultaneously?
And in our Pakistani society where we have limitations to interfere into the other affairs as third side by using all ten roles cannot be possible to play by one individual. Apart from mediation, all roles lack in to tell someone that how one can develop the qualities to perform such roles and how you can do it? As far as his methodology is concerned so it’s quite simplified but more hypotheses can be created region wise graphical representation but book lacks in it for instance author can segregate the chapters region wise that how one conflict resolves in one society i. . in east or west etc and variation in conflicts level in different societies or cultures. Much of examples are from his personal cases or experiences which have been discussed over again and again throughout the book but case studies from some other references can be included to prove his point of view which must give his work more authentication. Author is an anthropologist that’s why he has given too much depth in first too chapter where he specifies about the history of human being and its evolution, culture development, population growth on earth , agriculture istory, industrial & Knowledge revolution, Development of weapons & wars etc, which some time distract the reader ‘s attention from its main theme of conflict management. Tone ; Expression of author was strong in beginning but it has become soften when third segment of book started from How can we stop? And at the end again tone ; expression of author found strong. Ideology of an author is ideal which might be varied from culture to culture ; Society to Society. Argument presented in the paperback with lot of enthusiasm ; conviction, one should appreciate it as well.
Grip on content were sufficient within a single part of book and linkages among thr paragraphs were better but among the three parts it bit distracted as first part of book was bit lengthy ; over detailed and reader may lost the direction if he is not reading it in a one sitting. Conclusion has been depicted in a very persuasive ; suggestive manner which left the profound impression on the reader mind about the third side ; Conflict Management. It’s a significant contribution by William Ury to the domain of conflict Management.
It’s not only give the new meaning to manage the relationships while dealing with difficult people which is need of today’s world specially for the society of Pakistan, but also it is equally instructive for the students of social sciences or psychology. One should read it once in his/her life whether one is professional or not or student of conflict management, to create a better understanding about the third side ; conflict resolution. It is the prime need of our society in Pakistan to include this special gift on Conflict resolution to make it the part of our educational curriculum.

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