THE ANGELS' GAME: A Handbook of Modern Diplomacy by William Macomber

THE ANGELS' GAME: A Handbook of Modern Diplomacy

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Change, animosity, misunderstanding, and lack of appreciation are hallmarks of the diplomat's lot""--does that sound like Henry Kissinger, a beautiful blond on one arm, a glass of champagne in the other? No, of course not. That's the plaintive and platitudinous William Macomber, currently our Ambassador to Turkey. He sounds like a State Department handout coming on strong for integrity, discretion and self-discipline. Machiavelli notwithstanding, he'll tell you that the conduct of international affairs is not based on crass duplicity; morality aside, ""it just does not pay to be deceitful."" Of course, a diplomat's job is much harder than it was in those golden days when hunch playing, intuition and lone-wolf activities sufficed. Today a diplomat is part of a ""foreign affairs community""--which loosely translated means that every goddamn freshman senator and jackass congressman feels entitled to meddle in foreign affairs. This means that a diplomat must abandon Talleyrand's wise words et surtout pas trop de zele and learn ""new management tools""--ie., he should try to avoid working at cross-purposes with the CIA or the Dept. of Agriculture also operating in his bailiwick. To get anything at all out of Macomber you have to translate him as you go along, since he's by now so versed in bureaucratese that it's hard to tell exactly what he's saying. Something about the problems engendered by ""bigness and complexity"" in this new managerial age. Sir Harold Nicolson, he ain't.

Pub Date: June 1st, 1975
Publisher: Stein & Day