International politics is a serious business. But, as Richard Woolcott shows in these witty reminiscences, the diplomatic world has more than its fair share of absurdity, and even high comedy.
Required not only to sacrifice a settled home and family life in the service of their country, diplomats must also heroically offer up their livers to booze, their stomachs to endless official dinners, their integrity to dangerous liaisons and the weasel art of spin, and their sanity to the pomposity and weird protocols that are part and parcel of the international scene.
Undiplomatic Activities is filled with anecdotes and tall tales from an extraordinary career that spanned the second half of the twentieth century: from junior diplomat in Cold War Moscow to secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Canberra, via the capitals of Europe, Africa, Asia, the USA, and the United Nations.
From the heady negotiations of global statecraft to the petty and labyrinthine politics of ministers and mandarins, join this ultimate insider on a hilarious and insightful tour of duty in the diplomatic world.
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