The Ambassadors: America's Diplomats on the Front Lines (Hardcover)

The Ambassadors: America's Diplomats on the Front Lines By Paul Richter Cover Image
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Description


Veteran diplomatic correspondent Paul Richter goes behind the battles and the headlines to show how American ambassadors are the unconventional warriors in the Muslim world—running local government, directing drone strikes, nation-building, and risking their lives on the front lines.

The State Department’s heroes are the front-line diplomats who have been unheralded, but crucial in the line of national defense for two decades of wars in the Middle East. In The Ambassadors, Paul Richter shares the astonishing, true-life stories of four expeditionary diplomats who “do the hardest things in the hardest places.”

We’ll see Ryan Crocker’s effort to organize a new Afghan government after the fall of the Taliban, even threatening the life of a Pashtun warlord, a US ally, to ensure that a column of tanks could join US forces in the biggest battle of the Afghan war. Robert Ford, the sole American official for the province of Najaf in central Iraq, tries to restart the economy and deal with growing militia violence—and is taken hostage by a Shia militia. In Syria, he is chased by government thugs for defying the country’s ruler. J. Christopher Stevens is smuggled into Libya as U.S. Envoy to the rebels during its bloody civil war, then returns as ambassador only to be killed during a terror attach in Benghazi. War-zone veteran Anne Patterson is sent to Pakistan, considered the world’s most dangerous country, to broker deals that prevent a government collapse and to help guide the secret war on jihadists.

Richter’s account of the role of America’s diplomats in the wars in the Middle East and the Muslim world supplies a crucial and—until now—missing part of how these wars are being fought. An important addition to appreciating the roles of these diplomats, and an in-depth look into the complexity and length of these wars and nation-building, The Ambassadors is a critical piece of modern day history.

About the Author


Paul Richter has written about foreign policy and national security for three decades. As a Washington-based correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, he reported from sixty countries and appeared in US and international media. He covered the State Department for the Los Angeles Times from 2001 to 2015, and before that, the Pentagon and the White House. He was raised in the Washington, DC, area and Minneapolis, and graduated from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is also the principal author of California and the American Tax Revolt: Prop 13 After Five Years. He lives in the Washington, DC area.

Praise For…


“An important and illuminating read.”
The Washington Post

“At once inspiring, infuriating, and, as a chronicle of U.S. involvement in the [Middle East] region, deeply sad.”
Foreign Affairs

“Richter provides a gripping, wistful, and ultimately inspiring portrait of the courage, patriotism, skill, and wisdom of America’s finest diplomats at a difficult hour for our country and profession.”
— Ambassador William J. Burns (ret.), former Deputy Secretary of State and President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

“The book captures an era in which Middle East policy was carried out by a robustly staffed diplomatic corps who may not have had all answers but were able to discern, better than most, ‘which of Washington’s decisions brought progress and which led to disaster.’”
The New Yorker

“Paul Richter has done Americans a great service in reminding us of the need for a skilled, non-partisan career Ambassadorial corps at a dangerous moment in our history. The Ambassadors is a clarion call for the revival of the American Foreign Service gutted by the Trump Administration.”
— Ambassador Nicholas Burns (ret.), former Undersecretary of State and Harvard University professor

“Part intriguing spy story, gripping war story, and compassionate love story, the book brings the reader right into the action.”
New York Journal of Books

“Paul Richter takes you on an enthralling ride through the dramatic and dangerous world of diplomacy. The Ambassadors is a story of courage and dedication during some of the most challenging and deadly times in our nation’s history. Grab it fast and dive in.”
— Martha J. Raddatz, Chief Global Affairs correspondent for ABC News and bestselling author of The Long Road Home

“An intriguing look at U.S. diplomats in the greater Middle East... “There are no ticker tape parades for diplomats,” a State Department official once said. This book gives them the recognition they deserve.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“A compelling and poignant glimpse at an often-overlooked and misunderstood profession... easily digestible and meticulously researched.”
Foreign Policy

“Finally, a book that captures the incredible courage, sacrifice and unwavering patriotism of the unsung heroes of the war on terrorism. They represent the very finest of the diplomatic corps and of America. Paul Richter has brilliantly portrayed these remarkable icons of the Foreign Service. A must-read for anyone interested in U.S. foreign policy and what it takes to be an American hero!”
— Adm. William H. McRaven (ret.), former commander of U.S. Special Operations Command and overseer of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden

“Fascinating reading to those curious how our nation’s best and brightest diplomats functioned amid upheaval abroad and political spin games at home.”
The Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
Product Details
ISBN: 9781501172410
ISBN-10: 1501172417
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: November 12th, 2019
Pages: 352
Language: English

How to read more

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How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.

 

And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.

 

15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.

 

50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.

 

Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.

 

Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.

 

Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.

 

Outcome

Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.

 
 
 

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