The fixer and the spy

OurmanRichard made a career of putting out fires in hotspots around the world. His greatest achievement, the Dayton Accords, ended the Balkan wars of the 1990s; he died trying to negotiate an end to the fighting in Afghanistan. In Our Man”  George Packer recounts his life.  Dry material, you might think, but Packer (“The Unwinding”) is an excellent writer with an eye for the big picture. Here, he has crafted an epic that, says the NYT, will have you gripped by the third page. “If you could read one book to comprehend American’s foreign policy and its quixotic forays over the past 50 years, this would be it” (Walter Isaacson). If you wanted a second, The Good Spy, a life of CIA operative Robert Ames hints at what might have been an alternative history of this Middle East.

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