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Reception for “Our Man”

On the afternoon of June 24, 2019, in Aspen, Colorado, American Academy trustee Leah Joy Zell hosted a reception for George Packer on the occasion of his latest book, Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century, published by Knopf in May. Packer began research for this book in 2014 while a fellow at the American Academy, which Richard Holbrooke founded in 1994.

Joining the reception in Aspen, among other distinguished guests, were author and biographer Walter Isaacson and former US ambassador Christopher Hill, a spring 2019 Academy Distinguished Visitor, as well as Academy alumni Jeffrey Goldberg, editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, and George Frampton, who just finished a semester at the Academy as the inaugural Richard C. Holbrooke Fellow.

Packer’s bestselling book traces the arc of Holbrooke’s energetic career, from his early days in the foreign service to his tireless diplomatic work in Vietnam, Bosnia, and up to his final assignment, as Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan; he died in December 2010. Packer also delves into Holbrooke’s personal life, describing his rapacious intellectual appetite, abrasive confrontational style, wide-ranging international engagements, and romantic relationships. Kurt Campbell wrote the following in the Financial Times of Our Man: “Packer brilliantly describes Holbrooke’s personal journey . . .  exploring along the way how wars came to shape him — and how Holbrooke applied his considerable guile, fortitude, and intelligence to shape the course of  conflicts.”

George Packer will be at the American Academy in Berlin in November 2019 for a reading of Our Man. Please check our events page in early fall for registration.

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