3. Diplomatic memoirs

These include diaries recorded during their careers and memoirs written at their conclusion, together with more general books and articles about diplomacy. There are, however, no hard and fast lines between these categories. For example, the first volume of Henry Kissinger’s memoirs, The White House Years (1979), contains long passages in which he develops his theory of international politics. Many nineteenth and early twentieth century works (and some from much earlier periods) can now be found on the Internet; see especially the vast San Francisco-based free internet library, theInternet Archive’ . (But ignore the abridged and thoroughly disreputable English translation of Callières’ On the Manner of  Negotiating with Sovereign Princes provided by A. F. Whyte under the title ‘The Practice of Diplomacy’ in this online resource; see instead the translation in Keens-Soper and Schweizer.) See also Stefano Baldi’s intriguing Through the Diplomatic Looking Glass.

I must feature here Machiavelli’s ‘Legations’, his diplomatic despatches to the Florentine ‘Ten of War’ (“Magnificent Signori: – By my last, which I sent yesterday with the courier ….”) translated by Christian Detmold in his four-volume Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings of Niccolo Machiavelli (Boston, 1882). This is a rare and valuable set that has been freely available in the Internet Archive for about ten years. Aside from their value to historians of diplomacy, it is in the ‘Legations’ – according to Quentin Skinner – that are to be found the rough workings from which the polished precepts of the more famous Prince duly emerged.