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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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. "
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.”
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.”
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