The Unquiet American by Derek Chollet
Richard Holbrooke in the World

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Synopsis

Richard Holbrooke, who died in December 2010, was a pivotal player in U.S. diplomacy for more than forty years. Most recently special envoy for Iraq and Afghanistan under President Obama, Holbrooke also served as assistant secretary of state for both Asia and Europe, and as ambassador to both Germany and the United Nations. He had a key role in brokering a peace agreement among warring factions in Bosnia that led to the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.

Widely regarded to possess one of the most penetrating minds of any modern diplomat of any nation, Holbrooke was also well known for his outsized personality, and his capacity to charm and offend in equally colossal measures. In this book, the friends and colleagues who knew him best survey his accomplishments as a diplomat, activist, and author. Excerpts from Holbrooke’s own writings further illuminate each significant period of his career.

The Unquiet American is both a tribute to an exceptional public servant and a backstage history of the last half-century of American foreign policy.

 

About Derek Chollet

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Samantha Power founded the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard University, and is now a faculty affiliate. From 1993 to 1996 she covered the wars in Yugoslavia as a reporter for US News and the Economist. A native of Ireland, she moved to the US in 1979 at the age of nine, and graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.
 
Published November 8, 2011 by PublicAffairs. 402 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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His work on “pacification strategy” as part of the American counterinsurgency effort in Vietnam gave him a unique view on the failed U.S. effort there, which lent him expertise and credibility in diplomacy initiatives decades later in “Ak-Pak.” He was chosen as the youngest member of the American...

Oct 15 2011 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

The New York Times

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When it came to Kosovo, the New York Times columnist Roger Cohen writes that despite his years of conversations with Slobodan Milosevic, Holbrooke had no hesitation about supporting military action: “When Milosevic balked, NATO bombed — and just over a year later Milosevic would be ousted and mak...

Dec 30 2011 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

Publishers Weekly

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Diplomat Richard Holbrooke was known variously as "Hurricane Holbrooke, the Bulldozer, and Raging Bull," but despite the potentially pejorative connotations of these nicknames, he was a compassionate and irresistible force when he saw a need.

Jan 02 2012 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

New York Journal of Books

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Also true of both geopolitical regions is that the problems faced are, in part, the result of bad political decisions based on a poor understanding of complex processes at the local level.• The long-term key to bringing peace and security in Afghanistan may lie with agricultural and trade policy ...

Nov 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

The Washington Post

And it leaves us with lots of material with which to ponder a more personal question: Would U.S. policy in Afghanistan have been more successful if the relationship between Holbrooke and Obama had been more successful?

Oct 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

Huntington News

Here's an excerpt from the book, posted on the PublicAffairs site, which indicates the eloquent brutality -- and I mean that as a compliment -- of Holbrooke's prose: In the 1971 inaugural issue of Foreign Policy, of which he was the editor, Holbrooke denounced the dysfunctions of Washington's po...

Feb 03 2012 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

Bookmarks Magazine

He had a key role in brokering a peace agreement among warring factions in Bosnia that led to the Dayton Peace Accords in 1995.Widely regarded to possess one of the most penetrating minds of any modern diplomat of any nation, Holbrooke was also well known for his outsized personality, and his ...

Nov 13 2011 | Read Full Review of The Unquiet American: Richard...

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