To End a War

To End a War

by Richard Holbrooke

As passionate as he was controversial, Holbrooke believed that the only way to bring peace to the Balkans was through a complex blend of American leadership, aggressive and creative diplomacy, and a willingness to use force, if necessary, in the cause for peace.

This book is Holbrooke's gripping inside account of his mission, of the decisive months when, belatedly and reluctantly but ultimately decisively, the United States reasserted its moral authority and leadership and ended Europe's worst war in over half a century.

To End a War reveals many important new details of how America made this historic decision.

Kennan has called Holbrooke's "heroic efforts" were shaped by the enormous tragedy with which the mission began, when three of his four team members were killed during their first attempt to reach Sarajevo.

His explanation of how the United States was finally forced to intervene breaks important new ground, as does his discussion of the near disaster in the early period of the implementation of the Dayton agreement.

To End a War is a brilliant portrayal of high-wire, high-stakes diplomacy in one of the toughest negotiations of modern times.

A classic account of the uses and misuses of American power, its ons go far beyond the boundaries of the Balkans and provide a powerful argument for continued American leadership in the modern world.From the Hardcover edition.

  • Language: English
  • Category: History
  • Rating: 3.99
  • Pages: 464
  • Publish Date: January 1st 2000 by Modern Library
  • Isbn10: 0375753605
  • Isbn13: 9780375753602

What People Think about "To End a War"

Now that we have so sadly lost this brilliant diplomat, I think it's time to begin the book again. The amount of negotiating and diplomacy that Holbrooke had to undertake in order to bring about the Dayton Accords and some kind of peace in Bosnia is mindboggling.

Richard Holbrookes account of his efforts to bring peace to the Balkans--To End A War--is a candid, detailed, and thoughtful study of the practical challenges diplomats (helped by soldiers and backed-up by policymakers) face in the post-Cold War world. The GHW Bush administration saw these Balkans clashes as the first chance for Europe to step up during the post-Cold War era and take on a problem in its backyard. In mid-1994 Richard Holbrooke left Germany (where I was one of his senior advisors) for Washington to assume responsibility for European affairs at the State Department. The strength of his book, leading to the famous Dayton Accords that put an end to fighting (more or less) in the Balkans, lies in its detailed account of how difficult and dangerous diplomacy can be in the midst of war. No, this book shows another difficult facet of diplomacy: the State Department doesnt order the Pentagon around. In fact, even a man of Holbrookes caliber couldnt always get a seat in the highest councils when key decisions about the Balkans (for which he was responsible) were being made. Milosevic was almost a Balkan Holbrooke when it came to schmoozing, haggling, and playing out discussions for five, ten, or more hours, looking for just a little something that hitherto had eluded him. Until I read this book, I never knew how far Christopher would go--just as far as Holbrooke and with more on the line. The final point I want to make, which is a double-edged sword, was Holbrookes constant reference (in this book and elsewhere) to history.

To End a War was one of the books recommended in a list, but this was written for those who have a good handle on the events at the time, whether in memory or consuming enough information because Holbrooke jumps back and forth through the 1990s, his personal thoughts, and events. I thought this was the end of the tale, but the rest of the story was picked up more than sixty pages later.

From the bomb-wrecked ruins of Sarajevo to the high diplomacy of Dayton, this is a clearly written account of the efforts that the international community underwent in order to bring peace to tha Balkans region.

What this book failed to do: - Give much explanation as to why the Bosnian conflict occurred.

It's a rating for his honesty, story details and rather gripping narrative.

Holbrooke takes you on a personal journey of determination and endless time and effort to bring to an end the crisis in the Balkans, whilst taking into account the views of the those who primarily caused the war.

He served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, where he was also a member of President Clintons cabinet (1999-2001). As Assistant Secretary of State for Europe (1994-1996), he was the chief architect of the 1995 Dayton Peace Agreement that ended the war in Bosnia. During the Carter Administration (1977-1981), he served as the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and was in charge of U.S. relations with China at the time Sino-American relations were normalized in December of 1978.