The Hagiography of Mr. Holbrooke

Richard “The Bulldozer” Holbrooke left a deep mark on U.S. foreign policy. Yet this collection of essays by his friends and admirers, which gushes with praise, leaves out significant elements of the story.

Issue: May-June 2012

Derek Chollet and Samantha Power, eds., The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World (New York: PublicAffairs, 2011), 400 pp., $29.99.

[amazon 1610390784 full]WHEN RICHARD Holbrooke died unexpectedly in December 2010, he left behind a large contingent of friends and admirers who revered the man, his contributions in the realm of foreign policy and his geopolitical outlook. This memorial volume gives testament to that esteem by presenting essays by friends and colleagues as well as Holbrooke’s own writings over the decades. Editors Derek Chollet and Samantha Power succeed in providing a reasonably insightful portrait of Holbrooke the man as well as the foreign policy that he both shaped and embodied.

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