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Parting Shots by Matthew Parris
  

Sue Baker's view...

Sadly, the tradition of Ambassadors firing off one last missive as they leave their posts is now finished – and reading some of the letters published here, you can see why. Putting the Freedom of Information act to full use, there has been some very productive digging in the archives, the authors coming up with an impressive collection of unguarded, often unwise and often humorous comments from departing Ambassadors.

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Synopsis

Parting Shots by Matthew Parris

Up till 2006 a British Ambassador leaving his post was encouraged to write what was known as a valedictory despatch, to be circulated to a small number of influential people in government. This was the parting shot, an opportunity to offer a personal and frank view of the host country, the manners and morals of its people, their institutions, the state of their cooking and their drains. But it was also a chance to let rip at the Foreign Office itself and to look back on a career spent in the service of a sometimes ungrateful nation. Combining gems from the archives with more recent despatches obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, Parting Shots is a treasure trove of wit, venom and serious analysis. Astute and often gloriously non-politically, they shed light on Britain's place in the world, and reveal the curious cocktail of privilege and privation which make up the life of an ambassador.

About the Author

Matthew Parris

Matthew Parris was born in Africa and grew up in Cyprus, Rhodesia, Jamaica and Britain. He worked for the Foreign Office and Margaret Thatcher before becoming an MP in 1979. After serving in parliament for seven years (he claims as his only success the abolition of imprisonment for prostitutes) he quit to present LWT’s ‘Weekend World’.

For thirteen years The Times’s parliamentary sketchwriter and a regular travel writer, reviewer, broadcaster and Spectator columnist, and has won Best Political Journalist at the British Press Awards 2015. He is the author of several books, including the longstanding travel-book success, Inca Kola, his autobiography Chance Witness and the bestselling The Spanish Ambassador’s Suitcase. He lives in London and Derbyshire.

Author photo © Jack Hill

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd June 2011

Author

Matthew Parris

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Publisher

Viking an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Format

Paperback
400 pages

Categories

The Real World
Biography / Autobiography
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Humour
Diplomacy

ISBN

9780670919291

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