Why has the profession of diplomacy suffered a loss of prestige over recent decades? There are many explanations, but one reason is simple: too few citizens understand what it is that diplomats actually do.
This makes Not Always Diplomatic, a memoir by one of Australia’s first female ambassadors, particularly welcome. Sue Boyd has served during interesting times, as the saying goes, from Portugal’s Carnation Revolution and Cold War East Germany to nuclear weapons negotiations at the United Nations headquarters in New York. In the region, she’s been head of mission in developing Bangladesh, tiger economy Vietnam, post-handover Hong Kong and coup-era Fiji.