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From the Publisher“This nuts-and-bolts account of what foreign service officers do on a daily basis will be of particular interest to historians and political scientists, and should be required reading for all who serve in the Obama administration’s State Department and for students interested in careers in international relations. . . . An engaging writer. . . . Kiesling’s experiences in embassies on the periphery of American consciousness . . . provide a perspective that is often lacking in discussions of U.S. foreign policy.”
"Kiesling's broad scope and incisive wit are reminiscent of some of Sir Harold Nicolson's best essays on diplomacy."
"This powerfully written analysis of the U.S. role as the only superpower left on the planet will keep an intelligent seeker of political reality awake and alert long after bedtime. . . . Diplomacy Lessons is angry without being cynical; it shows passionate commitment to the common good and to those who work for understanding. It provides constructive remedies as well as critique of an 'unloved superpower,' and so demonstrates that idealism and realism are not incompatible but essential partners in a healthy world. At the end of the day it is most an act of hopeful citizenship, one that will inspire readers to understand their world in a new way."
"Diplomacy Lessons is a riveting account of American diplomacy at the end of the twentieth and beginning of the twenty-first century. John Brady Kiesling’s stimulating and inspirational observations are an important contribution to the history of our times."
"A tour de force! John Brady Kiesling believes deeply in diplomacy but exposes all the bureaucratic warts that hobble its effectiveness. His resignation from the Foreign Service due to his conviction that the impending war with Iraq would prove disastrous for our nation has liberated him to write this catalog of wise lessons for both our political leaders and our diplomats."
"Diplomacy Lessons is at once a compelling insider’s account of life as an American diplomat and a trenchant analysis of how and why U.S. foreign policy has veered so seriously off course."
"When the prospect of an American invasion of Iraq loomed, John Brady Kiesling chose to resign from his post at the U.S. Embassy in Athens, and this brilliant work on contemporary diplomacy explains why this action was the only answer for him. I am sure this thoughtful, articulate, and clearly competent diplomat would have risen to diplomacy’s highest levels, and I mourn his loss, one of the many costs of this unnecessary and faultily justified war. In Kiesling, we may have a new George Kennan."
"This book, written by an exceptionally courageous foreign service officer who resigned in protest against the war in Iraq, should be required reading by all students and practitioners of foreign policy. With a wealth of examples, in a clear and pungent style, Kiesling not only shows the damage done to America's standing in the world by George W. Bush's administration,
but suggests sound and enlightened policies that would blend American idealism with what has been so grievously missing in recent years: lucid awareness of the realities and obstacles in the rest of the world."
"[Kiesling's] book provides the invaluable perspective of someone who has seen American foreign policy from the inside. What we learn from his lively, often witty, and incisive report is invaluable. . . . He writes in the tradition of George Kennan when he argues that while Americans may argue that their security depends on the spread of morality and justice abroad, they should first practice both at home."
"A must read for young men and women aspiring to enter the American Foreign Service. It will also enlighten and challenge the thinking of active-duty diplomats, intelligence and military officers, members of Congress, journalists, lobbyists, and business people in America and abroad."
"Any who would understand modern world issues and interactions must have Diplomacy Lessons."