Book Reviews

Book Review: The Unquiet American.

This is a unique book that included contributions from Holbrooke`s friends, and journalists who met him and reported about his accomplishments throughout his career. Strobe Talbott, E. Benjamin skinner, Jonathan Alter, Gordon M. Goldstein, Derek Chollet, James Traub, Samantha Power, John Tedstrom, David Rohde, all have written about Holbrooke’s accomplishments, his mannerisms, thinking, philosophy, and diplomatic manoeuvres to achieve his objectives and goals to further American interests, but more than anything else, to save lives.

In this book all of the contributors believe that he has single-handedly saved thousands of lives in the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and Vietnam.

Although Holbrooke had the reputations of a “diplomatic bulldozer”, in reality his behaviour had only one objective – to save lives regardless of creed, nationality, and religion.

He wrote several, if not hundreds of articles during his career in private practice and government employment. He was an ambassador, Assistant Secretary of State, US Ambassador to the UN and Special Envoy to Afghanistan, among other important political assignments.

Over his long Washington career, he understood how federal politics in the city works and what he could accomplish by navigating the convoluted and complicated system.

In this book all contributors frankly analyse him, how he worked and accomplished his many successes including the Dayton, Ohio peace treaty to end the bloody conflict between Serbs, Croats, Bosnians and Kosovars.
His articles, published in several prestigious magazines outline his thinking and he worked to achieve his objectives.

President Clinton was a great believer in Holbrooke.

His activities as mentor to several young, and talented journalists are legends.
This is a book for all who wish to understand how American foreign policy is set by various presidents and over time.

Holbrooke believed that the American actions all over the world contributed and continue to contribute to saving lives, foster new ideas, help the poor and underprivileged, and help educate young people. His articles about a meeting with Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader at the time, explain vividly how Deng’s insistence that Chinese students be educated in engineering helped establish a viable industrial base and increased living standards for millions of Chinese.

This is a highly interesting book, not only about Holbrooke the diplomat, but also to understand hw American politics works.

Highly recommended.

Hrayr Writer – Hrayr Berberoglu – E-mail – Read his books?
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