Our Man is a deeply researched, compelling biography of Richard Holbrooke, arguably the most famous US diplomat since the Cold War.
The peak of Holbrooke’s career came under former US President Bill Clinton, when he shuttled around the Balkans cajoling Bosnian warlords and Serbian war criminals to make peace.
His work culminated with three weeks of negotiations in November 1995 at an Air Force base near Dayton, Ohio, where he pushed the Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and others into a peace agreement.
“Let’s give him his due. He ended a war,” Packer writes. “Diplomacy, real diplomacy, is not for the short of breath.”
In a review published in theguardian.com, Julian Borger said: “Our Man is not just a portrait of a fascinating historical figure, it is a contemplation of a half century of US foreign and security policy and its most intractable challenges: Counter-insurgency, humanitarian intervention and nation-building.”