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Lessons from a Diplomatic Life
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Table of Contents

Dedication Preface Chapter 1: First Assignment, Paris Chapter 2: Edge of Darkness, Lubumbashi Chapter 3: Introduction to China, Taipei Chapter 4: The Last International City, Hong Kong Chapter 5: The Middle Kingdom, Beijing Chapter 6: Where `the Dawn Comes Up Like Thunder', Rangoon Chapter 7: Flower Pepper and Buttered Tea, Sichuan Chapter 8: Old War, Tuzla Chapter 9: New War, Special Operations Command MacDill Air Force Base, FL Chapter 10: Coda

About the Author

Marshall P. Adair is an independent consultant on international relations, specializing in China and Europe. He retired as a Minister-Counselor in the Senior Foreign Service in September, 2007.

Reviews

An autobiography that doubles as a travelogue and description of the challenges of contemporary diplomacy, this is a very engaging reflection on a life fulfilled by service to the United States in a kaleidoscope of countries and cultures, each vividly and insightfully portrayed. Adair provides a remarkably accessible and often entertaining answer to the mystery of what diplomats do and what difference they make. One comes away astonished by the variety of work experiences the U.S. Foreign Service offers its members and gratified by having gotten to know one of them and his family on such pleasant terms. -- Charles W. Freeman, former Assistant Secretary of Defense; former U.S. Ambassador to Saudi Arabia
For those who believe that the information age has reduced the significance of the U.S. Foreign Service, this fascinating first-person account of the overseas experiences of an accomplished American diplomat will provide a useful corrective. Dragooned by the needs of the service into a first assignment in Paris, the dream of every Foreign Service Officer, the author happily moved from there to the heart of Africa and then on to a series of demanding posts in China, Southeast Asia, and the Balkans, gaining experience, immersing himself in local culture and history, surviving adventures, and enthusiastically promoting U.S. interests at every turn. This book admirably captures the excitement and challenges of working and raising a family abroad in the nation's service. -- J. Stapleton Roy, former U.S. ambassador to Singapore, China, and Indonesia
Marshall Adair has written a unique and invaluable book about life in the American Foreign Service, one of the least appreciated and understood, but most important institutions to our nation's security. I have had the privilege as a political appointee to work with Foreign Service officers abroad and in Washington. Their uniform excellence and dedication to the best American values was inspirational. Adair brings to life the strengths and weaknesses of American foreign policy and our foreign policy apparatus in dramatic ways, with illuminating examples based upon his own varied and distinguished service. It is must reading for anyone wishing to understand how the U.S. Foreign Service operates to present the best of America abroad. -- Stuart E. Eizenstat
Mr. Adair has written a most insightful account of his career as a third-generation diplomat, one that offers real insight into the changing status of spouses and children accompanying foreign service officers in the field. . . . Mr. Adair does an excellent job of demonstrating how the personnel policies of the U.S. Department of State often impacted his career. . . . Readers who take public service seriously will sympathize with the author and value his unusually candid reflections on his work.
Marshall Adair's book, Lessons from a Diplomatic Life: Watching Flowers from Horseback, is a delightful read. As he brings readers along a journey from Paris to Lubumbashi and on to Asia, his engaging personal story offers insights into history and diplomacy, as well as context for the events he describes and the flavor of the places in which he serves... His adventurous underscore the value of diplomacy and the unique satisfaction that comes from Foreign Service life at its best. * Foreign Service Journal *

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