Ever the Diplomat: Confessions of a Foreign Office Mandarin

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9780007436002: Ever the Diplomat: Confessions of a Foreign Office Mandarin

In this entertaining and engaging memoir, former ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles lifts the lid on embassy life throughout the world.

For over thirty years Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic front line in a distinguished career that took him from the corridors of power in Whitehall to a string of high-profile around the world.

Entering the Foreign Office in 1977, he took up postings in Beirut, Alexandria and Cairo, Washington, Paris, and Hong Kong, his globe-trotting punctuated with spells in London, where the young diplomat had a baptism of fire writing foreign affairs speeches for Geoffrey Howe and Margaret Thatcher.

In 1999, under the New Labour government and Prime Minister Tony Blair, he was made Principal Private Secretary to the irascible Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, providing the book with some of its most hilarious sequences. His career culminated in a succession of ambassadorial posts as Our Man in Israel, Saudi Arabia and finally Afghanistan.

‘Ever the Diplomat’ is his revealing and witty account of half a lifetime in diplomacy.

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Review:

‘It is a modern history from an insider’s perspective… with a self-effacing tone and dash of wit’ The Independent on Sunday

‘A fascinating picture of a career in which sipping martinis under chandeliers is a less frequent occurrence than strapping on a flak jacket’ Country Life

‘Cowper-Coles writes extremely well… Mostly fun and often acute’ Sunday Times

‘Written in the style of an adventure story… [There are] amusing, often self-deprecatory anecdotes… and plenty of serious moments’ Financial Times

About the Author:

Sherard Cowper-Coles is one of the most respected authorities on foreign affairs in the country. He has held a string of high-profile diplomat posts, both in the UK and overseas, most recently as the British Ambassador to Kabul and the Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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