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Comment: 1995 Putnam Pub. hardcover, with dust jacket. 7 small brown spots on page edges. Great otherwise! No writing or highlighting!
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The Politics of Diplomacy Hardcover – September 26, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 687 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; First Edition edition (September 26, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399140875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399140877
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 2.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Former Secretary of State Baker's memoirs offer an engaging and candid behind-the-scenes look at the conduct of U.S. foreign policy during one of the most tumultuous periods in recent history. The dramatic political convulsions of his tenure?the Tiananmen Square massacre, breakup of the Soviet Union, collapse of the Berlin wall, German reunification, and Iraqi invasion of Kuwait?form the backdrop for Baker's intriguing account of his forays into the vicissitudes of international diplomacy, a tale laced with personal anecdotes and intimate portraits of major world figures. Confusing chronological arrangement and sometimes tedious details may put off some readers, but those who persevere will be well rewarded. Comparable to his predecessor George P. Schultz's Turmoil and Triumph (Scribner's, 1993), Baker's book is a valuable contribution to the literature on contemporary U.S. foreign relations. A welcome addition to both popular and academic collections.
-?David Ettinger, George Washington Univ., Washington, D.C.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

James A. Baker, III has served in senior government positions under three Presidents: as Under Secretary of Commerce for Gerald Ford, as White House Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary for Ronald Reagan, and as Secretary of State, White House Chief of Staff, and Senior Counselor for George Bush. Baker has also managed campaigns for the Presidency by all three of these Presidents. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 27, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This book is a fascinating look at James Baker's tenure as Secretary of State. Baker writes a massive book seperated by area of work; ie one chapter on Eastern Europe, one on the Persian Gulf War, etc.; which causes a little confusion in terms of the timeline, but it is easily sorted out. The one massive flaw is that he makes virtually no mention of Vice President Quayle and some others in the foreign policy process and absolutely lionizes himself. While I realize that this is a memoir, and as such is meant to build up the author, but this seems to go a bit over the edge. IF you want to find out how Baker thought and worked, this is an incredible book. If you are looking for history, read this with many other books.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Dutch on February 20, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I guess I am the scrooge of the reviewers of The Politics of Diplomacy by James A. Baker III.

Given the positive things I have read about Secretary James Baker, I expected this book to be interesting, insightful and educational. I found the book to be as interesting as reading a phone book, with sentences aggrandizing Secretary Baker thrown in along the way.

I can't believe that in his 12 years of high-level public service for Presidents Reagan and Bush, that Mr. James Baker was consistently the most crafty, astute, worldly and knowledgeable of the leaders of the world, which is the impression I was left with after reading this book.

I did find one interesting tidbit in the book, however, which was that from the time George H. W. Bush was President Reagan's Vice President, Vice President Bush wanted to overthrow President Noriega of Panama.

After he was elected President in 1988, President Bush had the opportunity to overthrow President Noriega, which he appeared to do by mishandling negotiations with President Noriega and provoking President Noriega into a belligerent state. This example of toppling a sovereign state for personal, rather than national interest, reasons was copied by President George H. W. Bush's son, the current President Bush, who seemed to follow the same playbook with Iraq with different results, sadly.

I haven't yet given up on Secretary James Baker; I plan to read his new book, Work Hard, Study...and Keep Out of Politics! Adventures and Lessons from an Unexpected Public Life. I hope the book contains some insights about Mr. Baker's decision-making as well as insights about other personalities he met along the way. If the book is 480 pages of self-aggrandizement, I may have to reach for the Alka-Seltzer to keep my dinner from spilling out onto the floor.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Pipes, Middle East Forum, Philadelphia on July 26, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Soon after becoming secretary of state, George P. Shultz noted that � unless you do something about it, in the job of secretary of state you will spend 100 percent of your time on the Middle East. � �Every Secretary of State becomes a Middle East expert very rapidly, whether he wants to or not,� he also stated. . These observations remain valid today, when Warren Christopher has virtually become Secretary of State for the Middle East. Baker had a similar experience. Page one of his memoirs tells of Saddam Husayn�s invasion of Kuwait, the single most dangerous moment of Baker�s three-years-plus as secretary of state. Of the book�s thirty-four chapters, fully fifteen concentrate on the Middle East, primarily the Kuwait war and the Arab-Israeli peace process.
Famously discreet when in office, Baker unbuttons a bit in the retelling. He captures the atmosphere of his endless travels (he went to sleep on the eve of his Geneva meeting with Tariq �Aziz, just before the outbreak of hostilities, as the �chants from antiwar protesters echoed quietly up to our block of rooms�) and the vagaries of dealing with Middle Eastern leaders (Asad treated his complaints about Syrian terrorism �the way one might react to an eccentric uncle at family gatherings�as an unavoidable nuisance to be endured politely�). Baker also provides some new information; for example, in March 1991, he raised to Yitzhak Shamir the possibility of stationing U.S. troops on the Golan Heights.
Middle East Quarterly, June 1996
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Politics of Diplomacy is an outstanding contribution to the study of American foreign policy and the art of diplomacy as practiced by one of the best practitioners in the 20th-21st centuries.

Great insight into the workings of the world!
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