Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Random House Publishing Group, Sep 21, 2010 - True Crime - 226 pages
28 Reviews
An enraged man abducts his estranged wife and child, holes up in a secluded mountain cabin, threatening to kill them both. A right wing survivalist amasses a cache of weapons and resists calls to surrender. A drug trafficker barricades himself and his family in a railroad car, and begins shooting. A cult leader in Waco, Texas faces the FBI in an armed stand-off that leaves many dead in a fiery blaze. A sniper, claiming to be God, terrorizes the DC metropolitan area. For most of us, these are events we hear about on the news. For Gary Noesner, head of the FBI’s groundbreaking Crisis Negotiation Unit, it was just another day on the job.

In Stalling for Time, Noesner takes readers on a heart-pounding tour through many of the most famous hostage crises of the past thirty years. Specially trained in non-violent confrontation and communication techniques, Noesner’s unit successfully defused many potentially volatile standoffs, but perhaps their most hard-won victory was earning the recognition and respect of their law enforcement peers.

Noesner pursued his dream of joining the FBI all the way to Quantico, where he not only became a Special Agent, but also—in the course of a distinguished thirty-year career—the FBI’s Chief Negotiator. Gaining respect for the fledgling art of crisis negotiation in the hard-boiled culture of The Bureau, where the shadow of J. Edgar Hoover still loomed large, was an uphill battle, educating FBI and law enforcement leaders on the job at an incident, and advocating the use of  psychology rather than force whenever possible. Noesner’s many bloodless victories rarely garnered as much media attention as the notorious incident management blunders like the Branch Davidian disaster in Waco and the Ruby Ridge tragedy. 

Noesner offers a candid as well as fascinating look back at his years as a rebel in the ranks and a pioneer on the front lines. Whether vividly recounting showdowns with the radical Republic of Texas militia, the terrorist hijackers of the cruise ship Achille Lauro, and self-styled messiah David Koresh, or clashes with colleagues and superiors that expose the internal politics and power-plays of America’s premier law enforcement agency, Stalling for Time crackles with breathtaking suspense and insight in equal measure. Case by case, minute by minute, it’s a behind the scenes view of a visionary crime-fighter in action.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Easy to read, and fast paced. - Goodreads
The writing did feel a little preachy at times, though. - Goodreads
This book presents facts, time-lines and explanations. - Goodreads

Review: Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator

User Review  - Stephanie - Goodreads

Not the biggest page-turner I've ever read, but worthwhile for providing a pretty unique view to the true crime field. I particularly appreciated the chapter on Waco. Very good analysis of all the ... Read full review

Review: Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator

User Review  - Ann Frost - Goodreads

Some great behind the scenes analysis of well-known hostage takings. Great to see the same principles I teach in my Negotiations course being used in real life to bring situations to successful ends. A number of good quotes I will bring to class when I start teaching again in a few weeks! Read full review

About the author (2010)

GARY NOESNER retired from the FBI in 2003 following a thirty-year career as an investigator, instructor, and negotiator. An FBI hostage negotiator for twenty-three years of his career, he spent ten years as the bureau's Chief Negotiator. Following his retirement from the FBI he became a Senior Vice President with Control Risks, an international consultancy. Noesner has appeared on numerous television documentaries produced by A&E, the History Channel, Discovery, TLC, and National Geographic. He is the founder of the National Council of Negotiation Associations, which represents about eighteen organizations and thousands of law enforcement negotiators nationwide.   He continues to do consulting work for Control Risks part-time.


From the Hardcover edition.

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