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Final Tribute to ‘My’ Ambassadors

January 2016

by Mark Wentling What is an embassy? What is an ambassador? ‘Embassy’ and ‘Ambassador’ were practically new words for me in 1967 when I encountered them firsthand in Tegucigalpa. Way back then, I and other members of 8th group new … Continued

Old Times on the Soviet Desk

January 2016

by Peter Bridges Back in the late 1950s, when Stalin was not long gone and the Soviet state remained our militarily powerful and dangerous adversary, the State Department’s basic office for dealing with the Russians was a Soviet desk composed … Continued

London Christmas Staff Party

December 2015

by Bob Baker Each Christmas, the London American staff threw a play and a bibulous feast for the British staff and their families in the Embassy’s big staff room. In 1972 PAO Bill Weld wore a white Stetson and cowboy … Continued

A Most Unusual Christmas Feast

December 2015

by Michael Cotter The summer of 1984, my wife Joanne and I headed off for assignments—our first as a tandem couple—to Kinshasa, capital of what was then Zaire and is now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. My parents, inveterate … Continued

Christmas Action at the Vatican

December 2015

by Jim Creagan It was Christmas eve of 1988. Gwyn was dressed in her long black gown complete with mantilla and I was in white tie and tails (these were the “uniforms” for US officials accredited to the Holy See). … Continued

The Wedding Gifts

November 2015

by Ambassador James Rosenthal Diplomacy is more than high-level foreign policy-making and execution, formal negotiation of treaties and other agreements, carefully-crafted representations to foreign governments, and fancy parties and ceremonies. The mundane day-to-day issues a diplomat at a foreign post … Continued

Early Days at London Embassy

November 2015

by Bob Baker I had always loved my imagined picture of London, drawn mostly from English essayists like Steele, Addison and Lamb, or novelists like Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, Graham Greene, etc. I was about fifty to a hundred years … Continued

1930s American Films at Embassy London

October 2015

by Bob Baker Our film programs at the London Embassy drew annually, thousands of university staff, students, BBC writers, journalists, young politicians, labor leaders, etc. Even the often anti-American underground magazine Private Eye, carried notices of our shows. Terry, my … Continued

Max Kampelman: Arms Control in Sydney

September 2015

by Bob Baker After assignments in London and Germany, I became the Consulate’s public affairs officer in Sydney, Australia. The left wing of the ruling Australian Labor Party wanted to show its displeasure with the Reagan re-armament program, especially its … Continued

Religious Liberty, not Religious Tolerance

June 2015

by Donald M. Bishop America’s career diplomats—the Foreign Service—are assured when they deal with thorny political, economic, trade, and development issues. During my own Foreign Service career, however, I found them uncomfortable speaking of religion. Like it or not, I … Continued

Yum Yums Across the Seas

May 2015

by Bob Baker Eating abroad was dramatically different from the food we had in East Baltimore where I grew up in Canton, near the docks. Mom cooked and served great Central European stodge: potatoes, pork, cabbage, sauerkraut, steak, peas, chicken … Continued

March 2015

About My Husband and the General by Betsey Barnes Author’s Forward: To Harry’s friends and family: After Harry’s death many friends asked if we would be holding a memorial for him in Washington. That is not feasible, nor is it … Continued

The Kaiser’s Mission to Kabul

March 2015

Review by Dr. John M. Handley, Vice President, American Diplomacy Publishers The Kaiser’s Mission to Kabul: A Secret Expedition to Afghanistan in World War I by Jules Stewart, London: I. B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2014, ISBN: 978-178076-8755, 288 pp., … Continued

Darwin—An Aussie Shangri-La, Sort of

January 2015

by Bob Baker I got more and more lonely as I drove North before dawn from my tiny motel to avoid the blazing desert heat. I was half way between Cairns in Northern Queensland and Darwin, capital of The Northern … Continued

About My Husband and the General, Part II

January 2015

by Betsey Barnes Author’s Forward: To Harry’s friends and family: After Harry’s death many friends asked if we would be holding a memorial for him in Washington. That is not feasible, nor is it anything he would have wanted. His … Continued

Show Me Your Ear! The Berlin Wall

November 2014

by Bob Baker Part of my job at U.S. Embassy, London, was to persuade British student leaders that despite our war in Vietnam, we were still necessary and reliable partners in Britain’s most important alliance, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. … Continued

A Disappearance (1977)

October 2014

by Larry LesserJust a few days after I arrived in Rwanda, my secretary Melanie Webb (not her real name) asked to meet with me to discuss a very urgent personal problem — a life-or-death issue involving her boyfriend. I was … Continued

Vienna Snow

October 2014

by Bob BakerVienna was snowed in when I first visited there in 1974. Twenty years later I was back in Vienna to relax and to direct the Regional Program Office’ excellent staff. Then Moscow melted and the Office had huge … Continued

Bamako Space Show

October 2014

by Bob Baker Bamako, Mali, was in 1968 a poor, socialist dictatorship, largely in the Sahel region of West Africa. After my tour of duty in Kampala, Uganda, a telegram came from the Personnel Division in the U.S. Information Agency, … Continued