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Head of Zeus
They Call It Diplomacy
They Call It Diplomacy Peter Westmacott

The memoirs of senior UK diplomat Sir Peter Westmacott, former ambassador in Turkey, France and the United States during Barack Obama's presidency.

'A highly readable account of a glittering diplomatic career' Tony Blair

'One of the most brilliant and consequential diplomats of his generation' Andrew Roberts

'A must-read guide to the crucial role for diplomacy in restoring British influence' Philip Stephens

Urbane, globe-trotting mandarins; polished hosts of ambassadorial gatherings attended by the well-groomed ranks of the international great and good: such is the well-worn image of the career diplomat. But beyond the canapés of familiar caricature, what does a professional diplomat actually do? What are the activities that fill the working day of Her Majesty's Ambassadors around the world?

Peter Westmacott's forty-year career in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office straddled the last decade of the Cold War and the age of globalization, included spells in pre-revolutionary Iran and the European Commission in Brussels, and culminated in prestigious ambassadorial postings in Ankara, Paris and Washington in the post-9/11 era. As well as offering an engaging account of life in the upper echelons of the diplomatic and political worlds, and often revealing portraits of global leaders such as Blair, Erdogan, Obama and Biden, They Call It Diplomacy mounts a vigorous defence of the continuing relevance of the diplomat in an age of instant communication, social media and special envoys; and details what its author sees as some of the successes of recent British diplomacy.

Head of Zeus, an Apollo book * Memoir
04 Feb 2021 * 368pp * £8.99 * 9781800240988
'A highly readable account of a glittering diplomatic career ... Combines deep insights into the critical foreign policy challenges of the last forty years while also offering valuable lessons for Britain's future international role'
Tony Blair
'Peter Westmacott was one of the most brilliant and consequential diplomats of his generation, rising to the apex of his service. Anyone interested in understanding how international relations work at the highest level should read They Call it Diplomacy'
Andrew Roberts
'Peter Westmacott's engaging memoir, drawing on a Foreign Office career that included the top job in Washington, provides a must-read guide to the crucial role for diplomacy in restoring British influence'
Philip Stevens, Financial Times
'Westmacott offers a personal memoir of representing Britain as an ambassador, mischievous but also passionate and full of insight, particularly into Turkey, Iran and the US, his final posting ... The strength of Westmacott's account is that as well as shrewd analysis, he gives a vivid sense of how making common cause actually works ... Above all, he makes a powerful case for the kind of diplomatic skills – and deep knowledge of other countries – which he has spent his life honing'
Financial Times
'Peter Westmacott's new book provides insights from a British envoy abroad [...] freed in his retirement of the bonds of self-restraint'
Diplomat Online
Peter Westmacott
Peter Westmacott
Peter Westmacott was a British diplomat for more than forty years. He began his career in Iran and rose to become ambassador to Turkey, France and finally the United States, where he represented the UK during the second term of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden between 2012 and 2016.