The Slog

Jake Sullivan is no James Bond. He’s a nice kid from Minnesota. But Sullivan’s top secret diplomacy may have staved off catastrophe as the US pursued the Iran nuclear deal.

On this episode, we dig into how diplomacy gets done — and, not the Hollywood-movie version. (Diplomacy, it turns out, isn’t as sexy as Bond.) This is the real-life version, where sleep-deprived people pore over thousands of pages of technical documents, sleep on couches and floors, and lose their cool more than once. There are even a few broken bones.

It’s not glamorous, it’s grueling. But when it works, it can stop a war.