I list below, in categories corresponding roughly to the chapters in my textbook, Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 6th ed (2022), books (and a few articles) that I believe valuable to all students of diplomacy. Those dealing with embassy substitutes, such as representative offices, are included under ‘Modern bilateral diplomacy’. The list is obviously not exhaustive. I have tried to restrict myself to recommending my own books to categories where I think other works are a bit thin on the ground. See also my Book Reviews and the ‘Further reading’ at the bottom of the ‘Updating’ pages for each chapter of the textbook.
This page also contains sections on ‘Novels by Former Diplomats and Intelligence Officers’ and ‘Political Thrillers and Historical Novels (by other writers)’.
Berridge, G. R., Diplomacy: Theory and Practice, 6th ed. (2022). See especially Ch. 7 (Embassies) and Ch. 14 (Embassy Substitutes).
Berridge, G. R., British Diplomacy in Turkey, 1583 to the Present (2009). This is a history of the British Embassy in Turkey; for the embassy in modern times, see especially Ch. 10 [reviews]
Berridge, G. R., Embassies in Armed Conflict (2012) [review in LSE Review of Books]
Berridge, G. R., Diplomacy and Secret Service: A short introduction (2019). Published on the ISSUU platform, this has much on the ‘diplomatic cover’ provided by embassies to intelligence officers and the difficulties ambassadors sometimes have with the ‘cuckoos’ in their nests.
Bertram, Mark, Room for Diplomacy: The history of Britain’s diplomatic buildings, 1800-2000, 2nd ed (2017). [see my review here]; also his Catalogue of British embassy and consular buildings, 1800-2010, which is an exceptionally detailed and well illustrated appendix to his book, and is freely available here.
Dobrynin, Anatoly, In Confidence: Moscow’s Ambassador to Six Cold War Presidents (1995). Dobrynin was Soviet ambassador to Washington from 1962 until 1986, an exceptionally long period for any diplomat of a major power to occupy the same post. It’s a mine of useful information and very clearly written.
Hurd, Douglas, The Search for Peace (1997). A short but shrewd book by a former British diplomat and Conservative Party foreign secretary.
Lloyd, Lorna, Diplomacy with a Difference: The Commonwealth office of high commissioner, 1880–2006 (2007). An immaculately researched study of a resident mission that is often misunderstood.
Loeffler, Jane C. ,The Architecture of Diplomacy: Building America’s Embassies, 2nd ed (2011). This is a highly original, well researched, and extremely interesting book exploring the reasoning behind changes in the design and location of America’s embassies after the Second World War.
Mayers, David, The Ambassadors and America’s Soviet Policy (1995). A solid historical treatment, focussing in the main on the opinions and influence of individual ambassadors.
Meyer, Christopher, DC Confidential: The controversial memoirs of Britain’s ambassador to the U.S. at the time of 9/11 and the Iraq War(2005). I have reviewed this here.
Morgenthau, Hans J., Politics Among Nations, revised by Kenneth W. Thompson and David Clinton (2005). Morgenthau’s classic textbook, first published in 1948. It is interesting to read the high priest of power politics on the subject of diplomacy, on which there is of course quite a lot in this book.
Newsom, David D. (ed), Diplomacy under a Foreign Flag: When nations break relations (1990). Important not least because it is the only full-length study of the institution of the protecting power and its modern elaboration, the interests section. Contains useful case studies.
Rana, Kishan S. Bilateral Diplomacy(2002). I have reviewed this book here.
Rana, Kishan S., The 21st Century Ambassador (2006). Another splendid example of the wit and wisdom of Ambassador Rana.
Sharp, Paul and Geoffrey Wiseman (eds), The Diplomatic Corps as an Institution of International Society (2007). This book deserves attention for its original focus as well as for the high quality of some of its 13 essays. It is, of course, about the multinational ‘body’ of diplomats in each capital city, not about the diplomatic service.
Sullivan, Joseph G. (ed), Embassies under Siege (1995). A very useful collection of individual experiences from the respected Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in Washington.
Young, John W., Twentieth Century Diplomacy (2008). See especially Chs. 4 and 9 of this work by a leading international historian.