The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World [NOOK Book]

Overview


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.

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The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World

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Overview


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.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Getler
This is an important, timely and imaginative book, a collection of essays from friends, colleagues, journalists and academics who knew Holbrooke well and observed him closely…The essays are interspersed, cleverly, by Holbrooke's writings—memos, diary entries, articles, book excerpts, op-eds—that illuminate his thinking and capture a breadth beyond that of the clever brawler…the book takes readers through a smart and fast-paced history of half a century with Holbrooke—who, like some diplomatic Zelig, was always on the crucial scene.
—The Washington Post
Jacob Heilbrunn
…a fascinating book.
—The New York Times Book Review
Publishers Weekly
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. According to his friend Strobe Talbott, he was "a personification of Thomas Paine's exhortation, 'Lead, follow, or get out of the way!'" This mélange of Holbrooke's own writings and writings by his friends and colleagues tracks his career, from the Paris Peace Talks on Vietnam to his service as United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, a position created for him. Holbrooke's years working with Southeast Asia and China during the 1960s, that "slum of a decade," made him a perfect candidate to author the history and critique of the "pacification program" for the Pentagon Papers in 1967. His lengthy and productive career also included being Head of the Peace Corps in Morocco, founder of the American Academy in Berlin, and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. While the remarkable tributes add a compelling dimension to this quasi-biography, it is Holbrooke's own words-from a treatise on graffiti written for The New York Times when he was just 20 years old, to an address to whoever would win the 2008 presidential election outlining the many challenges that person would face-that illustrate what a remarkable individual he was. In addition to painting a dynamic portrait of a life fully lived, this book is an excellent insight into the "quiet" service and how diplomacy really works.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From the Publisher

Kirkus, October 10, 2011
“An elucidating collection of writing by and about the late fiery, outspoken, undeniably capable United Nations ambassador and longtime diplomat.”

Washington Post, November 13, 2011
“This is an important, timely and imaginative book, a collection of essays from friends, colleagues, journalists and academics who knew Holbrooke well and observed him closely. It is therefore, in one sense, a memorial or a celebration of someone ‘whose presence is sorely missed,’ as co-editors Derek Chollet, author of a book on the Dayton Accords, and Samantha Power, a Pulitzer-winning author and special assistant to Obama, write in the preface. But it is also about someone ‘whose contributions are known in silhouette but — with the lone exception of his role in ending the war in Bosnia — in surprisingly sparse detail’… The book takes readers through a smart and fast-paced history of half a century with Holbrooke — who, like some diplomatic Zelig, was always on the crucial scene.”
 
Boston Globe, November 19, 2011
“Together, the essays paint a portrait of a trailblazing diplomat and highly charismatic man… The Holbrooke that readers see in these pages is direct, sometimes blunt, but always moving forward…“The Unquiet American’’ is a powerful memorial to this unique, indefatigable, and exceptionally capable diplomat.”

Financial Times
“A must-read for anyone interested in public service and US foreign policy. Holbrooke is best known as the architect of the Dayton accords, which brought a tenuous peace to the Balkans. This book is a reminder of how much more he accomplished in his 45-year diplomatic career.”

 
New York Times Book Review
“Derek Chollet and Samantha Power have assembled “The Unquiet American,” a festschrift-like tribute to Holbrooke that includes excerpts from his own writing. The result is a fascinating book.”
 

Huffington Post, column by Stephen Schlesinger
“Remarkable… captures the essence of the Holbrooke persona that dazzled the foreign policy community with its drive, intelligence, wiliness, humor, intense curiosity and characteristic dominance… What is unique about this book is that the editors have also matched every professional recollection with a set of articles written by Holbrooke himself commenting on the same subjects, almost as if Holbrooke intended to mark down his own personal account of past events for posterity.”
 

Foreign Affairs
"A spectacular series of essays retracing [Holbrooke’s] life and career through the eyes of those who knew him best. Power’s essay alone is worth the price of the book; reflecting on her mentor, Power is affectionate, exasperated, and eloquent, catching Holbrooke at his most intense, most personal, and most effective… A collection of writings that reminds those who knew Holbrooke what they have lost and allows others to learn something about one of the great men of our time.”
 
DebtOwed.com
“Enlightening, eye-opening…The introduction by his widow, journalist and author Kati Marton, a Hungarian Jewish refugee, whom he married in 1995, Â is a love letter by a woman who is an outstanding writer…I donate most of my review copies to our perennial cash-strapped public library, but I’m keeping The Unquiet American in my personal collection.”

Lionel Barber, Financial Times
The Unquiet American, edited by Derek Chollet and Samantha Power, is a riveting portrait of the late Richard Holbrooke, one of America’s top diplomatic troubleshooters, through his own writings and contributions from those who knew him. A must-read for anyone interested in US foreign policy and public service.”

Kirkus Reviews
An elucidating collection of writing by and about the late fiery, outspoken, undeniably capable United Nations ambassador and longtime diplomat. Holbrooke (1941–2010) died suddenly at age 69, while serving his final mission as the U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, appointed by President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. In this omnibus, which incorporates many of his fine, reflective essays, former State Department colleagues like Strobe Talbott, prominent journalists such as Jonathan Alter and widow Kati Marton write movingly about Holbrooke's long and eventful life. His successful career included his diplomatic cutting-of-teeth in Vietnam in the early 1960s, editing Foreign Policy magazine, appointments during every Democratic presidential administration since and including Jimmy Carter's, negotiating the Bosnia war treaty in 1995 (for which he was considered for a Nobel Peace Prize) and spearheading a more assertive approach to AIDS/HIV awareness among the global business community while at the UN, among many other notable accomplishments. Growing up in Scarsdale, N.Y., Holbrooke heeded JFK's idealistic call to "do" for his country and entered the Foreign Service after college. 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 delegation to the Paris Peace Talks led by Averell Harriman in 1968, and helped assemble the Pentagon Papers. He worked alternately on Wall Street and as ambassador to Germany in the early Clinton presidency, and he was in favor of expanding NATO and the EU and of reforming the State Department as well as the UN. Holbrooke could be abrasive, ambitious and publicity-savvy; one observer noted, "He was as good at seducing journalists as he was at bullying dictators like Milosevic." Reverential but mostly evenhanded assessment of a singular diplomat.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610390798
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 665,032
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Derek Chollet is the author of The Road to the Dayton Accords: A Study American Statecraft, and coauthor of America Between the Wars: From 11/9 to 9/11. He assisted Richard Holbrooke with the research and writing of his book To End a War, and served as Holbrooke's chief speechwriter while he was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Samantha Power: " Samantha Power is the executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1993 to 1996 she covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia as a reporter for U.S. News and World Report and The Economist. In 1996 she worked for the International Crisis Group (ICG) as a political analyst, helping launch the organization in Bosnia. She is a frequent contributor to The New Republic and is the editor, with Graham Allison, of Realizing Human Rights: Moving from Inspiration to Impact. A native of Ireland, she moved to the United States in 1979 at the age of nine, and graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School. She lives in Winthrop, Massachusetts. "

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Table of Contents

Preface Derek Chollet Samantha Power xi

Introduction Kati Marion 1

1 The Audacity of Determination 7

Thinker, Doer, Mentor, Friend Strobe Talbott 8

The Machine That Fails (Winter 1970-1971) 23

Foreword to Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World (2003) 34

The Paradox of George F. Kennan (March 21,2005) Richard Holbrooke 39

2 The Journalist 43

Reporting Truth to Power E. Benjamin Skinner 44

That Magnificent Hunger Jonathan Alter 58

The Writing on the Wall (July 27,1961) 62

Washington Dateline: The New Battlelines (Winter 1973-1974) 65

Jack Frost Nipping at the Years (March 5,1975) Richard Holbrooke 72

3 Vietnam 75

Richard Holbrooke and the Vietnam War: Past and Prologue Gordon M. Goldstein 76

A Generation Conditioned by the Impact of Vietnam (December 20,1969) 96

A Little Lying Goes a Long Way (September 10, 1971) 99

Pushing Sand (May 3, 1975) 101

Our Second Civil War (August 28, 2004) 106

Why Vietnam Matters (2008) Richard Holbrooke 109

4 Asia in the Carter Years 115

Restoring Americas Role in Asia Richard Bernstein 116

Escaping the Domino Trap (September 7, 1975) 132

Conscience and Catastrophe (July 30,1984) 146

Much Too Tough to Be Cute (March 3,1997) 157

The Day the Door to China Opened Wide (December 15, 2008) Richard Holbrooke 159

5 Europe in the Clinton Years 163

Holbrooke, a European Power Roger Cohen 164

America, a European Power (March/April 1995) 176

Hungarian History in the Making (December 1999) 190

Berlin's Unquiet Ghosts (September 10,2001) Richard Holbrooke 194

6 Bosnia and Dayton 197

Ending a War Derek Chollet 198

Bosnia: The "Cleansing" Goes On (August 16, 1992) 209

With Broken Glass (April 25,1993) 212

Why Are We in Bosnia? (May 18,1998) 214

Foreword to The Road to the Dayton Accords (2006) 225

The Face of Evil (July 23,2008) Richard Holbrooke 235

7 The United Nations 239

Holbrooke in Turtle Bay James Traub 240

The United Nations: Flawed But Indispensable (November 2, 1999) 251

Last Best Hope (September 28,2003) Richard Holbrooke 257

8 Fighting HIV/AIDS 263

The Global HIV/AIDS Crisis John Tedstrom 264

AIDS: The Strategy Is Wrong (November 29, 2005) 274

Sorry, But AIDS Testing Is Critical (January 4,2006) Richard Holbrooke 278

9 Afghanistan and Pakistan 281

The Last Mission David Rohde 282

Rebuilding Nations (April 1,2002) 296

Afghanistan: The Long Road Ahead (April 2,2006) 300

Still Wrong in Afghanistan (January 23,2008) 303

Hope in Pakistan; The Problems Are Real, But So Is the Progress (March 21,2008) Richard Holbrooke 306

10 Mentor and Friend 309

All That's Left Samantha Power 310

A Sense of Drift, a Time for Calm (Summer 1976) 319

The Next President: Mastering a Daunting Agenda (September/October 2008) Richard Holbrooke 333

Notes 355

About the Contributors 359

Index 363

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