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)’.

Arndt, Richard T., The First Resort of Kings: American cultural diplomacy in the twentieth century (2005). A full, very well informed and sympathetic treatment of the subject.

Cull, Nicholas J., The Cold War and the United States Information Agency: American propaganda and public diplomacy, 1945–1989 (2008). Cull is a leading authority on ‘public diplomacy’ and this is a valuable book, despite the wafer-thin distinction in its sub-title.

Snow, Nancy and Nicholas J. Cull (eds), Routledge Handbook of Public Diplomacy, 2nd edn (2020). The new edition of this vast ‘handbook’ (it has 528 pages and a great many individually authored chapters) is less military-oriented than its predecessor, in which the late Phil Taylor was the other editor.

Taylor, Philip M., Munitions of the Mind: A history of propaganda from the ancient world to the present era, 3rd ed (2003). Taylor had a passionate interest in this subject and is always worth reading.

Wiseman, Geoffrey (ed), Isolate or Engage: Adversarial states, US foreign policy, and public diplomacy (2015). As with all edited collections, cohesion in this book was difficult for the editor to achieve. Nevertheless, its theme that public diplomacy is no substitute for diplomatic relations is well made if it should be self-evident.