Review: Our Man by George Packer

Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century Synopsis:

Richard Holbrooke was brilliant, utterly self-absorbed, and possessed of almost inhuman energy and appetites. Admired and detested, he was the force behind the Dayton Accords that ended the Balkan wars, America’s greatest diplomatic achievement in the post-Cold War era. His power lay in an utter belief in himself and his idea of a muscular, generous foreign policy. From his days as a young adviser in Vietnam to his last efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Holbrooke embodied the postwar American impulse to take the lead on the global stage. But his sharp elbows and tireless self-promotion ensured that he never rose to the highest levels in government that he so desperately coveted. His story is thus the story of America during its era of supremacy: its strength, drive, and sense of possibility, as well as its penchant for overreach and heedless self-confidence.

In Our Man, drawn from Holbrooke’s diaries and papers, we are given a nonfiction narrative that is both intimate and epic in its revelatory portrait of this extraordinary and deeply flawed man and the elite spheres of society and government he inhabited.

Rating: 3-stars


Our Man by George Parker is an interesting nonfiction read. It explores the Cold War era, elite society and our American government. The book was focused on one man in particular. Explored his journey in wanting to rise high and be as active in policymaking as possible. The book was well-written. I ended up not liking Richard Holbrooke and his policies nor his political career. The book is definitely for more for the Democratic side than a historical biography on one of America’s diplomats.


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