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Mickey Bergman, Ellis Henican, In the Shadows:True Stories of High-Stakes Negotiations to Free Americans Captured Abroad
Mickey Bergman, Ellis Henican, In the Shadows:True Stories of High-Stakes Negotiations to Free Americans Captured Abroad

Wed, Jun 26


Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse

Mickey Bergman, Ellis Henican, In the Shadows:True Stories of High-Stakes Negotiations to Free Americans Captured Abroad

Brittney Griner, Danny Fenster, Otto Warmbier, Trevor Reed, Paul Whelan, Xiyue Wang...When an American citizen is unjustly imprisoned overseas, that’s when Mickey Bergman’s phone starts to ring. Global Santa Fe & Collected Works are thrilled to co-present a conversation with Mr. Bergman & Jim Falk.

Date, Time & Location

Jun 26, 2024, 6:00 PM MDT

Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse, 202 Galisteo St, Santa Fe, NM 87501, USA

About the Event

This will be an in-store event and live streamed to Zoom, register for Zoom here.

Order In the Shadows (hardcover, $30.00) from CW online here or call the store (505) 988-4226 to order. Signed copies will be available after the event.

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.

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 Authors

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

About Global Santa Fe

Global Santa Fe is an education-based non-profit that ignites dialogue around critical world issues and currents moving the modern world. Their three interconnected program areas: Dialogue & Diplomacy, which includes their Under Fire series, Cultural/Professional Exchange with international visitors, and inspiring Student Education and Travel Exploring, empowers their members, educators, students and communities to be more informed and engaged.

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