By William A. Rugh
In short vignettes, this book describes how American diplomats working in the Middle East dealt with a variety of challenges over the last decades of the 20th century. The stories include: the Palestinian siege of the U.S. embassy in Damascus; the bombing of the embassy in Jidda; the delicate relationships in Syria with the president’s brother and with the Jewish community; working with the Yemeni president on threats from the Marxist regime in Aden; and briefing President George H.W. Bush before the 1991 Gulf War. Each of the vignettes concludes with an insight about diplomatic practice derived from the experience. The book is intended to help prospective diplomats and students of international relations understand the real situations facing our Foreign Service Officers and how diplomacy is actually conducted.
William A. Rugh was a United States Foreign Service Officer for 31 years. He had two assignments in Washington and eight assignments at embassies abroad, including as American ambassador to Yemen and to the United Arab Emirates. He holds a PhD in International Relations and has taught courses on diplomacy and the Middle East at Tufts and Northeastern Universities. He has published five books and numerous journal articles and op-Eds.