Book Review: Our Man At first glance, it is not immediately apparent that the life of Richard Holbrooke, the longtime Democratic foreign-policy hand, merits a major work of biography. His highest governmental rank was that of assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, which he attained at the (then) record age of 35 and held for...

Rights Gone Wrong Review of The Debasement of Human Rights, by Aaron Rhodes, in Commentary

The Putin Show

The Putin Show Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia By Peter Pomerantsev PublicAffairs, 254 pages As a television producer living in Moscow during the early years of the 21st century, Peter Pomerantsev witnessed many strange things. There was the visit to Chechnya to meet the world’s biggest boy (who, at...

The Global Popularity Fetish In the spring of 2008, during the waning months of the Bush years, I was among a group of journalists, think tankers, and former government officials who met in a swank restaurant abutting the Potomac in Georgetown, on the dime of a well-endowed Washington think tank, for a discussion about America’s “standing” in the world....

The Deceits of Seymour Hersh Chronicling a singular career in meretricious journalism.

The Survivor The Fear: Robert Mugabe and the Martyrdom of Zimbabwe By Peter Godwin; Little, Brown; 384 pages.  Today, the full title of the British edition of Peter Godwin’s latest effort, The Fear: The Last Days of Robert Mugabe, seems sanguine, to say the least. Three years after the events recounted in this book, the 87-year-old Mugabe is still Zimbabwe’s...

The Con Man and His Pet Columnist Why does Nicholas Kristof continue to defend the charlatan Greg Mortenson? When Greg Mortenson—the Montana nurse who earned worldwide fame with his campaign to build schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan and then recounted the tale in his mammoth international bestseller Three Cups of Tea—was exposed as a fraud in April, there was one prominent media figure he...

The Russian Reset: A Eulogy Last April in Prague, President Barack Obama met his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev, to sign the Measures for the Further Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Arms. Known colloquially as New START, the treaty is the latest in a series of agreements between the United States and Russia aimed at reducing the countries’ nuclear stockpiles, a...