The Foreign Service Journal - November 2014 - page 52

What Diplomats Do:
The Life and Work of Diplomats
Brian Barder, Rowman & Littlefield,
2014, $44, hardcover, 216 pages.
What Diplomats Do
follows a fictional Brit-
ish diplomat from his application to join the
Foreign Office through different postings at
home and overseas, culminating with his
appointment as ambassador and retire-
ment. Each chapter contains case studies, based on the author’s
30-year diplomatic experience, such as the role of the diplomat
during emergency crises and as part of a national delegation to a
permanent conference such as the United Nations.
“Barder’s account is informative, humanly sympathetic, dis-
tinctly British and thoroughly engaging,” says Alan K. Henrikson of
The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Sir Brian Barder is an honorary visiting fellow at the University
of Leicester Department of Politics and International Relations.
During a distinguished career in the British Diplomatic Service
he served as ambassador to Ethiopia, the Republic of Benin and
Poland, and as high commissioner to Nigeria and Australia.
American Diplomacy
Paul Sharp and Geoffrey Wiseman, eds.,
Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 2012,
$62.93, paperback, 233 pages.
As the essays highlight, American diplo-
macy is in the midst of a period of uncer-
tainty because the country’s international
position is changing and the character of
international relations may be undergoing a
Paul Sharp is professor and head of political science at the
University of Minnesota Duluth and co-edits
The Hague Journal
of Diplomacy
. Geoffrey Wiseman is professor of the practice of
international relations at the University of Southern California. A
former Australian diplomat, he also worked as a program officer at
the Ford Foundation.
Lost Enlightenment:
Central Asia’s Golden Age from
the Arab Conquest to Tamerlane
S. Frederick Starr, Princeton University
Press, 2013, $39.50/hardcover,
$23.17/Kindle, 680 pages.
In this sweeping and richly illustrated his-
tory, S. Frederick Starr tells the fascinating
but largely unknown story of Central Asia’s
medieval enlightenment, exploring its rise and the competing
theories about the cause of its eventual demise.
Lost Enlightenment
recounts how, between 800 and 1200,
Central Asia led the world in trade and economic development,
the size and sophistication of its cities, the refinement of its arts
and, above all, in the advancement of knowledge in many fields.
Central Asians gave algebra its name, calculated the earth’s
diameter with unprecedented precision, wrote the books that
later defined European medicine and penned some of the world’s
greatest poetry.
S. Frederick Starr is the founding chairman of the Central Asia-
Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, a joint trans-
Atlantic research center affiliated with the Paul H. Nitze School of
Advanced International Studies at the Johns Hopkins University
in Washington and the Institute for Security and Development
Policy in Stockholm. He is an adjunct professor of European and
Eurasian studies at Johns Hopkins’ School of Advanced Interna-
tional Studies.
Informal Ambassadors: American
Women, Transatlantic Marriages,
and Anglo-American Relations
Dana Cooper, The Kent State University
Press, 2014, $49.56/hardcover,
$43.99/Kindle, 195 pages.
From 1865 to 1945, a number of American
heiresses wed members of the British aris-
tocracy and, without the formal title of diplo-
mat or member of Parliament, came to exert significant influence
in the male-dominated arena of foreign affairs and international
Informal Ambassadors
, author Dana Cooper traces
the experiences of five of these women: Lady Jennie Jerome
Churchill, Mary Endicott Chamberlain, Vicereine Mary Leiter
Curzon, Duchess Consuelo Vanderbilt Balsan and Lady Nancy
Astor. As the wives of leading members of the British aristoc-
racy, they had uncompromised and unlimited access to the eyes
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