Ever the Diplomat

  • by Sherard Cowper-Coles
  • Narrated by Sherard Cowper-Coles
  • 13 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this entertaining and engaging memoir, former ambassador Sherard Cowper-Coles lifts the lid on embassy life throughout the world. For over 30 years Sherard Cowper-Coles was on the diplomatic front line in a distinguished Foreign Office career that took him from the corridors of power in Whitehall to a string of high-profile posts across the globe. Entering the Foreign Office fresh from Oxford in 1977, he enjoyed a meteoric rise with postings in Beirut, Alexandria and Cairo, Washington, and Paris, and working on Hong Kong, punctuated with spells in London, where the young diplomat had a baptism of fire writing foreign affairs speeches for Geoffrey Howe and Margaret Thatcher.
In 1999, he was made Principal Private Secretary to the irascible Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, providing the book with some of its most hilarious sequences, and his glittering career culminated in a succession of ambassadorial posts as Our Man in Israel, Saudi Arabia, and finally Afghanistan. Ever the Diplomat is his revealing, passionate, and witty account of half a lifetime in diplomacy, which is set to become a classic of the genre.

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What the Critics Say

"The clearest, best informed, and most honest account yet of why and how Britain was drawn deeper and deeper into the Afghan war, by the man who knows more about it than just about anyone else. If you want to understand what really happened, you absolutely have to read this book." (John Simpson)
"Unquestionably the most important record yet of the diplomatic wrangling that has accompanied the slow military encirclement of western forces in Afghanistan. Extraordinary." (William Dalrymple)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Interesting. No Gossip Though! Very Diplomatic...

The author reads this audio book - I am often a bit hesitant to buy downloads when the author reads their own book; so many are really bad. This one is OK. I would have preferred a professional reader but he has a nice if rather soporific voice. He doesn't ruin it.

There is no 'story'. It is just an autobiographical account of some of his career as a senior diplomat. The times through which he served are part of my own history so his accounts are interesting. They shed some extra light, albeit that diplomats are rarely 'makers' or doers, they are facilitators or just scribes, really. Still, I most enjoyed the bits about Hong Kong and his time working for Robin Cook.

I suppose I was expecting more humour and perhaps a bit more indiscretion. But it was often very grim, and he is evidently far too diplomatic to gossip, so that may have been my fault. Mostly it is an easy-going, easy-paced tour of duty.
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- Alison

Insights and stories worth listening to

If you interested in modern diplomacy and history that's unfolded in our lifetime I think look no further. It's easy listening, engaging and you may find yourself wanting more at the end of it.
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- Farheena

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-10-2012
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Limited