They Call It Diplomacy

The memoirs of senior UK diplomat Sir Peter Westmacott, former ambassador in Turkey, France and the United States during Barack Obama’s presidency.’A highly readable account of a glittering diplomatic career’ Tony Blair’One of the most brilliant and consequential diplomats of his generation’ Andrew Roberts’A must-read guide to the crucial role for diplomacy in restoring British influence’ Philip StephensUrbane, globe-trotting mandarins; polished hosts of ambassadorial gatherings attended by the well-groomed ranks of the international great and good: such is the well-worn image of the career diplomat. But beyond the canapes of familiar caricature, what does a professional diplomat actually do? What are the activities that fill the working day of Her Majesty’s Ambassadors around the world?Peter Westmacott’s forty-year career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office straddled the last decade of the Cold War and the age of globalization, included spells in pre-revolutionary Iran and the European Commission in Brussels, and culminated in prestigious ambassadorial postings in Ankara, Paris and Washington in the post-9/11 era. As well as offering an engaging account of life in the upper echelons of the diplomatic and political worlds, and often revealing portraits of global leaders such as Blair, Erdogan, Obama and Biden, They Call It Diplomacy mounts a vigorous defence of the continuing relevance of the diplomat in an age of instant communication, social media and special envoys; and details what its author sees as some of the successes of recent British diplomacy.