Archive - May 10, 2019

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Review–George Packer on Richard Holbrooke, the Last Great Freewheeling Diplomat (Togo)

Review–George Packer on Richard Holbrooke, the Last Great Freewheeling Diplomat (Togo)

Thanks for the ‘heads up’ from Marian Haley Beil (Ethiopia 1962-64) Richard Holbrooke, and the End of the American Century by George Packer (Togo 1982-83) Reviewed by Walter Isaacson The New York Times May 9, 2019 Richard Holbrooke was a large man with gargantuan appetites — for food and women and movies and acclaim and, above all, diplomatic and undiplomatic maneuvering — appetites that struggled to feed an outsize ego that was matched only by his insecurities. As the last great freewheeling diplomat of the American Century, Holbrooke, with his turbocharged zeal and laughable lack of self-awareness, earned fervent admirers and fevered enemies, including a few longstanding colleagues who fell passionately and paradoxically into both camps. In fact, Holbrooke himself was caught in this duality of being his own most fervent admirer and worst enemy (although when someone once commented that he was his own worst enemy, a national security adviser . . .

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