A Complicated Man: Writer J.F. Pirro Describes Activist John Prendergast

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JP spoke of the icy, confrontational relationship he’d had with his father, the deep-seeded feelings of inadequacy, and a fermenting rage over global injustice that ultimately led to his often-perilous entrenchment in geopolitical hot spots like the Congo, Somalia and South Sudan. These regions, in particular, were the inspiration for his Enough Project, a collaboration with the Center for American Progress that targets the prevention of genocide and crimes against humanity. “Even when JP was there, he was always elsewhere, in an introspective sort of way,” Pirro recalls. “He had ideas, agendas, causes, goals I could never grasp.”

Prendergast has worked with U.S. presidents, U.N. ambassadors, A-list celebrities, sports stars, peasants, tribal leaders and faraway governments that are nothing like ours—whatever it takes to raise the funding and enact the policy changes he believes are absolutely necessary. “During our interview, JP drove the rental car, and I sat in the passenger seat,” says Pirro. “It was the first time I’d seen him in almost 30 years—since high school. The next morning, he’d be sitting next to George Clooney on an airplane on his way to some far-off land. I tried my best to look like Clooney to make JP feel at home.”

But, start associating with the likes of Clooney, Mia Farrow, Ryan Gosling, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, and you leave yourself open to some major scrutiny. And JP has endured his fair share from critics, who argue that his work is both self-serving and, worse yet, actually fostering the injustices he’s fighting.

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