The Good American: The Epic Life of Bob Gersony, the U.S. Governments Greatest Humanitarian

The Good American: The Epic Life of Bob Gersony, the U.S. Governments Greatest Humanitarian by Robert D. Kaplan 0525512306 9780525512301
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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Revenge of Geography comes a sweeping yet intimate story of the most influential humanitarian youve never heard of--Bob Gersony, who spent four decades in crisis zones around the world.

"One of the best accounts examining American humanitarian pursuits over the past fifty years . . . With still greater challenges on the horizon, we will need to find and empower more people like Bob Gersony--both idealistic and pragmatic--who can help make the world a more secure place."--The Washington Post

In his long career as an acclaimed journalist covering the "hot" moments of the Cold War and its aftermath, bestselling author Robert D. Kaplan often found himself crossing paths with Bob Gersony, a consultant for the U.S. State Department whose quiet dedication and consequential work made a deep impression on Kaplan.

Gersony, a high school dropout later awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, conducted on-the-ground research for the U.S. government in virtually every war and natural-disaster zone in the world. In Thailand, Central and South America, Sudan, Chad, Mozambique, Rwanda, Gaza, Bosnia, North Korea, Iraq, and beyond, Gersony never flinched from entering dangerous areas that diplomats could not reach, sometimes risking his own life. Gersonys behind-the scenes fact-finding, which included interviews with hundreds of refugees and displaced persons from each war zone and natural-disaster area, often challenged the assumptions and received wisdom of the powers that be, on both the left and the right. In nearly every case, his advice and recommendations made American policy at once smarter and more humane--often dramatically so.

In Gersony, Kaplan saw a powerful example of how American diplomacy should be conducted. In a work that exhibits Kaplans signature talent for combining travel and geography with sharp political analysis, The Good American tells Gersonys powerful life story. Set during the State Departments golden age, this is a story about the loneliness, sweat, and tears and the genuine courage that characterized Gersonys work in far-flung places. It is also a celebration of ground-level reporting: a page-turning demonstration, by one of our finest geopolitical thinkers, of how getting an up-close, worms-eye view of crises and applying sound reason can elicit world-changing results.

Author: Robert D. Kaplan

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover

Pages: 544

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 2021-01-26


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