Book reviews 2004 – 2007

The Twenty-First Century Ambassador: Plenipotentiary to Chief Executive and Asian Diplomacy: The Foreign Ministries of China, India, Japan, Singapore and Thailand

Kishan S. Rana, The Twenty-First Century Ambassador: Plenipotentiary to Chief Executive (Malta and Geneva: DiploFoundation, 2004), pp. xiii + 258. ISBN 99909-55-18-2 (Paperback). Kishan S. Rana, Asian Diplomacy: The Foreign Ministries of China, India, Japan, Singapore and Thailand (Malta and Geneva: DiploFoundation, 2007) pp. xiii + 246. ISBN 978-99932-53-17-4 (Paperback). [buy these books] Guest Review [...]

The Year of Europe: America, Europe and the Energy Crisis, 1972-1974

Documents on British Policy Overseas, Series III, Vol. IV (Routledge: Abingdon, Oxon, 2006, on behalf of the Whitehall History Publishing Consortium) This is the latest volume in the DBPO series, which has proved so invaluable to diplomatic historians over the years. It comes as a package consisting of two CDs, a slim hardback volume, and [...]

Essence of Diplomacy

(Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke and New York, 2005), pp. ix, 207 incl. index. ISBN 13:978-1-4039-9225-3; 10:1-4039-9225-8 [ buy this book ] Christer Jönsson is Professor of Political Science at Lund University in Sweden, where Martin Hall is a Researcher. Their book is described as an exercise in 'theorizing' diplomacy, that is, an attempt to provide a [...]

The History and Politics of UN Security Council Reform

(Routledge: London and New York, 2005), pp. xii, 134, incl. index. ISBN 0-415-30845-3. [ buy this book ] Dimitris Bourantonis, Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Athens University of Economics and Business and a well-published writer on the UN over many years, has provided a very valuable service for students of the world body [...]

Lucky George: Memoirs of an Anti-Politician

(Allen Lane The Penguin Press: London, 1999), pp. xiv, 402, incl. index. Hb: ISBN 0-713-99316-2. Pb: ISBN: 0140282211 [ buy this book ] This is a belated and less than comprehensive note on this book, which I stumbled upon in a second-hand bookshop while on holiday. It is one of the most lively, shrewd, and [...]

Managing the Cold War: A view from the front line

(RUSI: London, 2005), pp. 267. ISBN 0-85516-191-4 [ buy this book ] Michael Alexander, a Russian-speaking senior British diplomat who died in 2002, was a major behind-the-scenes figure in what he calls the 'management' of the cold war to a peaceful conclusion. (For his career, see this obituary .) Since, furthermore, he is right to [...]

Discourse on the Art of Negotiation

translated by Aleksandra Gruzinska and Murray D. Sirkis, Currents in Comparative Romance Languages and Literatures vol. 140 (Peter Lang: New York, 2004), pp. xlviii, 93. ISBN 0-8204-7436-3 [ buy this book ] The translators of this modest, entirely abstract but nevertheless rather uplifting work on diplomacy, first published in French in 1737, are not new [...]

Multilateral Conferences: Purposeful International Negotiation

(Palgrave Macmillan: Basingstoke and New York, 2004), 281pp. (with index), ISBN 1-4039-3321-9 (hbk) [ buy this book ] Ron Walker was a member of the Australian diplomatic service for 37 years, for the last 22 of which (1975-96) he specialized in multilateral diplomacy. His book on this subject is not an academic book. Instead he [...]

Under the Wire: How the telegraph changed diplomacy

(Harvard University Press: Cambridge, Mass. & London, 2003), 265pp. (with index), ISBN 0-674-01035-3 [ buy this book ] Nickles, who is a State Department historian, has written what I believe is the first full-length study of this important and intriguing subject. Excluding an introduction and short conclusion, it has seven chapters presented in three parts [...]

The New Diplomacy

(Polity Press: Cambridge, 2003), 150pp. (with index), ISBN (pb) 0-7456-2790-0 ; (hb) 0-7456-2789-7 Shaun Riordan was a British diplomat for 16 years before resigning in 2000 to take up private consultancy work and journalism in Spain, where he had ended his diplomatic career as political officer in the embassy. He has written a conceptually flawed, [...]

Chinese Ambassadors: The rise of diplomatic professionalism since 1945

(University of Washington Press: Seattle and London, 2001), 259pp., with selected bibliography and index. ISBN 0-295-98028-1 (paper); 0-295-98087-7 (cloth). [ buy this book ] Xiaohong worked on Western European affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing from 1977 until 1989. At some point after this she entered the School of Advanced International Studies [...]

The Long Affair: Thomas Jefferson and the French Revolution

(Sinclair-Stevenson: London, 1996), 367pp. (with index), ISBN (pb) 0-2266-1656-8; (hb) 0-2266-1653-3. [ buy this book ] Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence (1776) and third president of the United States (1801-9), was one of the warmest and most influential American supporters of the French revolution. He had also been a diplomat. In fact, [...]

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