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Our Man

Best Seller
Our Man by George Packer
May 07, 2019 | ISBN 9780307958020
See All Formats (3) +
  • Paperback $32.00

    May 28, 2019 | ISBN 9781984883278

  • Hardcover $30.00

    May 07, 2019 | ISBN 9780307958020

  • Ebook $14.99

    May 07, 2019 | ISBN 9780307958037

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“It is impossible to read George Packer’s new biography of Richard Holbrooke without a piercing sense of melancholy, not only that a man so supremely alive should be dead, but also because such people—Our Man, in Packer’s title, the incarnation of vanished glory, imperial hubris, exceptional Americanism—no longer walk the earth… Extraordinary.”—James Traub, Foreign Policy
“You may ask yourself, is it worth one of the best American non-fiction writers producing a book of just under 600 pages on an arrogant and abrasive egotist whose highest sustained rank in the State Department was that of a lowly assistant secretary? The answer is unabashedly yes. This is a remarkable work about a remarkable, if deeply flawed, statesman whose career was intimately intertwined with the 50 years of American decline from Vietnam to Afghanistan.”—Jonathan Powell, The Spectator

“[A] magisterial tome, a blend of biography and diplomatic history on par with Steve Coll’s Ghost Wars or Neil Sheehan’s A Bright Shining Lie… you really should read this book if you’re at all interested in the decline of our country’s elites or America’s role in the world over the past 50 years.” —Fred Kaplan, Slate
“Packer’s energetic prose… carries the reader easily through the three main acts of Holbrooke’s diplomatic life… impeccably sourced.” —Paddy Hirsch, NPR

“Mesmerizing… An elegy not just for Holbrooke but for the vision of American power he represented… Insightful and beautifully written…” —Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor

“No book could achieve the intensity, completeness, and narrative depth of Our Man without the author’s belief that he had been put on this earth to do it. The strength of the book is its focus on Holbrooke’s character, which Packer pursues much as James Boswell pursued the human truth of Samuel Johnson. The point is not to analyze things—why Yugoslavia flew to pieces, or what Johnson did for the English language with his dictionary. The point is to winkle out and bring to light the whole truth of the man: what he was like in all his contradictions.” —Thomas Powers, The New York Review of Books
Our Man is a great, exuberant read, gossipy and thoughtful.”—Roger Boyes, The Times

“[S]prawling, mesmerizing…”Max Boot, The Washington Post

This unconventional biography, written like a novel without notes or index, is a joy to read. The book is a singular achievement, bringing alive the last decades when America counted characters such as Holbrooke in the halls of policy-making… Packer ma[kes] Holbrooke’s life a metaphor for brash, ambitious America.Nayan Chanda, Global Asia

“Captaivating… Packer is a masterful storyteller and wordsmith.”Hussein Ibish, The World News

“This book is a real accomplishment; it’s hands down the best biography I have read this year… Deeply researched and reported… Brilliant, ambitious, arrogant and committed, Holbrooke, who died suddenly in 2010, is a mesmerizing subject, and friends and enemies alike helped Packer craft this biography. Sure to win a prize (or two or three) in the 2019 literary-awards sweepstakes.”Mary Ann Gwin, The Seattle Times

“Outstanding…One of the most fascinating dissections of US power – its strengths and serious weaknesses – I’ve ever read.” —Steve Bloomfield, The Guardian
“In Our Man, George Packer has delivered a deeply affecting and ultimately tragic biography of a distinguished diplomat…. Packer brilliantly describes Holbrooke’s personal journey through each episode, exploring along the way how these wars came to shape him — and how Holbrooke applied his considerable guile, fortitude and intelligence to shape the course of the conflicts.”—Kurt Campbell, The Financial Times
“Best appreciated like a novel, consumed whole…charming, brilliant, cocksure.”—Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

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