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Richard Holbrooke who died in December 2010 was a pivotal player in US diplomacy for 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 1995Widely 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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    Usually the beginning of a biography is the most boring part especially for someone with such an impressive career But the Unquiet American shows that Holbrooke's combative style was developed as a reporter at Brown that his skill for manipulation came from closely observing history and the conditions on the ground in Vietnam In many ways the Unquiet American reads like a sophisticated Irish Wake The boozier it gets the the same stories about suitcases at the Dayton Accords get repeated and some chapters read as wistful essays reflecting on the author's thoughts than on their subject Samantha Power's intimate description of Holbrooke as mentor is unforgettable and touching May we all have blustery mentors in pink Oxford shirts