From Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century:
The light in his dilated pupils told you that his intelligence was always awake and working. His eyes captured nearly everything and gave almost nothing away. Like one-way mirrors, they looked outward, not inward. I never knew anyone quicker to size up a room, an adversary, a newspaper article, a set of variables in a complex situation—even his own imminent death. The ceaseless sizing up told of a manic spirit churning somewhere within the low voice and languid limbs. Once, in the 1980s, he was walking down Madison Avenue when an acquaintance passed him and called out: “How are you, Dick?” Holbrooke watched the man go by, then turned to his companion. “What do you think he meant by that?” Yes, his curly hair never obeyed the comb, and his suit always looked rumpled, and he couldn’t stay off the phone or TV, and he kept losing things, and he ate as much food as fast as he could, once slicing open the tip of his nose on a cherrystone clamshell and bleeding through several cloth napkins—yes, he was in almost every way a disorderly presence. But his eyes never lost focus.
I’m trying to think what to tell you, now that you have me talking. There’s too much to say and it all comes crowding in at once. His ambition, his loyalty, his cruelty, his fragility, his betrayals, his wounds, his wives, his girlfriends, his sons, his lunches. By dying he stood up a hundred people, including me. He could not be alone. He might have had to think about himself.
So much thought, so little inwardness. Maybe that was something he couldn’t afford. Les Gelb, Holbrooke’s friend of forty-five years and daily recipient of multiple phone calls, would butt into a monologue and ask, “What’s Obama like?” Holbrooke would give a brilliant analysis of the President. “How do you think you affect Obama?” Holbrooke had nothing to say. Where did it come from, that blind spot behind his eyes that masked his inner life? It was a great advantage over the rest of us, because the propulsion from idea into action was never broken by self-scrutiny. It was also a great vulnerability, and finally, it was fatal.