Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century

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Richard Holbrooke was an Ambassador/Diplomat extraordinaire who was capable of wowing his targets, while also driving them to fits of anger. His service to the United States lasted almost fifty years, although not consecutive, as he found himself on the outside looking in with certain administrations, often by his own volition. His dedication to service and his aspirations for more stemmed from his relationship with his father. His father wanted more for him, but his early death led to Holbrooke finding mentors elsewhere. Men like Secretary of State Dean Rusk lit the fire inside Holbrooke to seek out diplomacy in quelling flare-ups around the world. Holbrooke’s work in Vietnam colored his opinions towards the winning of hearts and minds, especially how to avoid the pitfalls that led to the eventual defeat of American forces. Holbrooke’s service was distinctive but also took a toll on friendships and marriages. His brilliance at the negotiating table was balanced by his need for power, recognition. His stubbornness would yield fruitful dividends but would derail any further mobility.

George Packer covers a tough subject in the life of Richard Holbrooke. The subject was viewed with appreciation or scorn, love or hate, there was no middle ground. The book is comprehensive and satisfying in detailing Holbrooke’s eventful life. This book serves as an exceptional biography mixed with Politics and World History.


Reviewed By:

Author George Packer
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 608 pages
Publisher Knopf
Publish Date 2019-05-07
ISBN 9780307958020
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2019
Category Biographies & Memoirs
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