Proud Servant: The Memoirs of a Career Ambassador
Kent State University Press, 1998 - 430 páginas
"These memoirs, by a seasoned and highly competent career diplomatist, covering his various involvements with Latin America and his frequent tiffs with his own government, give an authoritative and amusing picture of the trials of foreign service life and work around the period of the Second World War."
--George F. Kennan
Ellis O. Briggs (1899-1976) entered the Foreign Service of the United States in 1925. During the next 37 years he was ambassador to seven countries: the Dominican Republic, Uruguay, Czechoslovakia, Korea, Peru, Brazil, and Greece. An eighth appointment, to Spain, was cancelled when he retired due to illness. He also served in Cuba, Chile, Liberia, and China. His memoirs are an exhuberant record of a gifted diplomat.
Briggs reached the highest rank attainable in the Foreign Service--Career Ambassador--and received the Medal of Freedom from President Eisenhower for his service in wartime Korea. He gained a reputation for successfully handling large diplomatic missions and dealing with difficult situations. But his greatest virtue was his honesty, his passion to report things just as he saw them and make policy recommendations regardless of conventional wisdom in Washington. He employed a high sense of humor, often to devastating effect, on bureaucrats at home as well as adversaries abroad. His strong views about policy sometimes placed him in conflict with others; fellow Dartmouth graduate Nelson Rockefeller had him fired from the Foreign Service because of disagreements (Briggs soon returned to the Service).
A down-to-earth New Englander with an abiding love of the outdoors, Briggs was devoted to his wife and family as well as to his country. Proud Servant is full of insights about the practice of diplomacy in this century and provides a fascinating account of the modern Foreign Service.
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Get yourself sent to Samsun , or Aleppo .... " He wrote down my name and asked
where I lived — a question that presently left me further beholden to him . I said I
was looking for something quiet and reasonably priced , preferably within ...
pared an erudite and lengthy memorandum addressed to the secretary of state ,
and they sent it via Room 300 , where it languished . The Norwegian note was
written in English . Most diplomatic missions in Washington , then as now , wrote
Copies of these letters would be sent to other officials , each under an
explanatory covering letter that often was longer than the main document itself .
The Messersmith prose had a steamroller quality about it that used to numb as
well as ...
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