The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World
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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.
two years ago [“Afghanistan: The Long Road Ahead,” op-ed, April 2, 2006], I was told by several high-ranking U.S. government officials that I was too pessimistic. I hope they do not still think so. Even more, I hope they will reexamine the disastrous drug policies that are spending American tax dollars to strengthen America’s enemies. Hope in Pakistan; The Problems Are Real, But So Is the Progress RICHARD HOLBROOKE Washington Post, MARCH 21, 2008 Writing after the historic Pakistani
were Albert Einstein and Enrico Fermi. At high school in Scarsdale, New York, he peered beyond science, became sports editor of the school paper, and wrestled with his editor in chief and best friend David Rusk over subheads and word counts. By sophomore year at Brown University, when he changed his major from physics to history, the New York Times’s Scotty Reston and Abe Rosenthal were atop his pantheon. From then on, while he excelled in those subjects he enjoyed—Holbrooke would summarize
“Let’s go, let’s go!” he would pull me toward the front door, even as jet lag from the Kabul flight home told on his face. There was a movie, a play, a game, a friend—life!—waiting outside. This book is about more than one man’s life. I hope it will serve as a very human and rather unorthodox manual for future diplomats, and a source of renewed inspiration for those who might have lost their faith in public service. My husband never lost his early excitement in living a large, public life. He
Holbrooke was charged with negotiating treaty extensions for the two large American military installations in the Philippines, Clark Air Base and the Subic Bay Naval Base, and that negotiation required good relations with the Philippine president. “Pat Derian was on his case, because there’s no question that Dick was not tough on human rights with Marcos,” Gelb remembered. “Derian would jab him in open meetings at the department, and she’d complain to [Deputy Secretary of State Warren]
such, it elicited doubts within the U.S. government and with the allies, not to mention among the warring parties themselves. Many in Washington and Europe worried that Dayton raised expectations too high, placing too many demands on an international community to be responsible for implementation, and putting at risk thousands of American troops. In the years after Dayton, Holbrooke vigorously defended his approach, arguing that Dayton’s shortcomings were mainly due to the fecklessness and