Founded forty years ago and almost immediately dubbed 'one of the larger lunacies of our time', Amnesty International is now the most influential non-governmental organization in the world. Scolded and prodded by Amnesty, democratic governments have made human rights a central tenet, if not always the practice, of policy. Even totalitarian governments are wary of its influence. Like Water on Stone tells the story of Amnesty's successes and failures from day one to the present. Starting with the personal story of his long-time friendship with one of Amnesty's best-known adopted political prisoners, Olusegun Obasanjo, now the democratically elected president of Nigeria, Jonathan Power looks at Amnesty's work worldwide, including Guatemala, where their personnel risked their own lives to help those facing the death squads, and in the Central African Republic, where they exposed the horrific massacre of defenseless children. Other chapters examine the attempt to bring General Pinochet to justice, Britain's dirty war in Northern Ireland and one of the black marks in Amnesty's own history, their mistaken support of the Baader-Meinhof gang. Finally, Power focuses on the USA and its failure to address its own widespread human rights violations. Forty years on, Amnesty continues to question orthodoxies - even liberal ones. It has also radically reassessed its objectives. The struggle to free political prisoners goes on, but Amnesty also recognizes the need to fight for human rights in whatever form they are denied or abused. Its successes are often no more dramatic than the constant dripping of water on stone. But as Jonathan Power asserts, 'Amnesty may not yet have changed the world, but it has not left it as it found it either'.