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The Unquiet American: Richard Holbrooke in the World Hardcover – November 8, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs; 1 edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610390784
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610390781
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.2 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #340,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


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.”

Financial Times
“A must-read for anyone interested in public service and US foreign policy. Holbrooke is best known as the architect of the Dayton accords, which brought a tenuous peace to the Balkans. This book is a reminder of how much more he accomplished in his 45-year diplomatic career.”
New York Times Book Review
“Derek Chollet and Samantha Power have assembled “The Unquiet American,” a festschrift-like tribute to Holbrooke that includes excerpts from his own writing. The result is a fascinating book.”
Huffington Post, column by Stephen Schlesinger
“Remarkable… captures the essence of the Holbrooke persona that dazzled the foreign policy community with its drive, intelligence, wiliness, humor, intense curiosity and characteristic dominance… What is unique about this book is that the editors have also matched every professional recollection with a set of articles written by Holbrooke himself commenting on the same subjects, almost as if Holbrooke intended to mark down his own personal account of past events for posterity.”
Foreign Affairs
"A spectacular series of essays retracing [Holbrooke’s] life and career through the eyes of those who knew him best. Power’s essay alone is worth the price of the book; reflecting on her mentor, Power is affectionate, exasperated, and eloquent, catching Holbrooke at his most intense, most personal, and most effective… A collection of writings that reminds those who knew Holbrooke what they have lost and allows others to learn something about one of the great men of our time.”
“Enlightening, eye-opening…The introduction by his widow, journalist and author Kati Marton, a Hungarian Jewish refugee, whom he married in 1995, Â is a love letter by a woman who is an outstanding writer…I donate most of my review copies to our perennial cash-strapped public library, but I’m keeping The Unquiet American in my personal collection.”

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.”

About the Author

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. "

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Pranay Gupte on August 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Reading this superb assemblage of essays made me miss Richard Holbrooke even more. He was brilliant, had great acuity, and would have made a great Secretary of State in the second Obama Administration. He was a diplomat for the ages.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Higgins on August 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An intriguing and personal account of the man behind the scenes at some of the most pivotal foreign policy junctures of the past few decades. Too often it's only the guys at the helm that get their story told, but here you have the detailed report of a diplomat that was involved in crucial decisions and shaped a powerful ideology even while never rising to the position that the book suggest he sought, that of Secretary of State.

As a young person considering a career in government, I gleaned from this collection a great deal of hope for and insight about the way our megalithic foreign affairs apparatus functions (or doesn't) and the individuals--Holbrooke's Great Men and Women--who can tilt it slightly to function for the good.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By FUNMAN on February 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
From his perspective and others' viewpoints, this was a wonderful summary of events he took part in. It's a fun, quick and very informative read.

I think of him as a hero, who might have been able to do so much more had he been able to live a healthy and longer life.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Holmbroke was a skilled diplomatic and a wonderful human being, with faults in both areas, but still a stunning man. His career was impressive, both in government and outside, but somewhat disappointing in that he didn't get Secretary of State of Deputy Secretary of State. The collection of essays helped to show the reader how loved and respected he was across the spectrum of disciplines. He will be (and should be) missed by his friends, family, coworkers, fans, foes, and everybody in between.
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