Review Essay

After the Vultures: Holbrooke's Bosnia Peace Came Too Late

In This Review

To End a War: From Sarajevo to Dayton -- and Beyond

To End a War: From Sarajevo to Dayton -- and Beyond
By Richard Holbrooke
Random House, 1998, 432 pp. $25.00 Purchase

In May 1995, after more than three years of bloodshed in Bosnia, Richard Holbrooke finally lost it. An ineffectual flurry of NATO bombing against Bosnian Serb positions had led to the Serb seizure of more than 300 U.N. peacekeepers and predictable diplomatic paralysis. Holbrooke's recommendation to the White House was blunt: bombard Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic's self-styled capital in Pale if his men did not release their hostages within 48 hours. The suggestion -- made from Budapest, where Holbrooke was about to wed the writer Kati Marton -- was met with incredulity in Washington. But as Holbrooke, the Clinton administration's Bosnia envoy, relates in To End a War, he was not joking. "I'm serious," Holbrooke told the State Department, "but now I have to get married."

The incident -- at once grotesque, tragic, and faintly comical -- says much about the former assistant secretary of state for Europe, whose rage for

Loading, please wait...

This article is a part of our premium archives.

To continue reading and get full access to our entire archive, please subscribe.

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.