David Rothkopf: On the Death of a Wise Man





[David Rothkopf is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and President and CEO of Garten Rothkopf.]

There will be a thousand eulogies for Richard Holbrooke. Heads of state and foreign ministers, journalists, and chief executives, movie stars and Foreign Service officers will remember him vividly even if they only knew him briefly. They will remember him that way because Richard Holbrooke was one of those great and complex characters who filled up every nook and cranny of a moment.

Some, no doubt, will remember him as the greatest American foreign-policy practitioner of his generation. Some may not. But those who do not will be wrong.

He was among the very brightest lights of a generation that was drawn to service by the call of John F. Kennedy and among the small elite group who learned their craft as aides to Henry Kissinger. Think whatever you will of Kissinger, his greatest contribution was almost certainly the generation he trained or elevated to the forefront of the U.S. foreign policy community. They led that community for four decades and of them all, Richard Holbrooke was among both the most gifted and the most accomplished....


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