December 06, 2004

Remembering those we lost. Remembering those who survived. Remembering this awful day and its  protracted aftermath. It's the aftermath that sticks most. The long period that stretched through weeks when our broken mission pulled itself together again. We pulled ourselves up from piles of ash and dust; from the pulverized concrete and glass shattered by bullets fired … Continue reading December 06, 2004

Avery Dick Disappoints

I had high hopes for the Avery Dick series. Diplomatic Security (DS) Agents have some of the most colorful stories in the Foreign Service trade. They walk like cops. They talk like cops. They’re security professionals steeped the gritty detail of protective service. Their beat is peculiar: sniff out bombs and throw up barricades; investigate … Continue reading Avery Dick Disappoints

Not Graham Greene

Amazon asked me if my novel, Two Pumps for the Body Man, met my expectations. "Well, the author's no Graham Greene," I say. "Please send me some of that." Why should I (or anyone) read a story about a foot-fetishist diplomat doing time in Saudi Arabia when I (or anyone) could be reading about a vacuum cleaner salesman making bank in Cuba? But then … Continue reading Not Graham Greene

Cover Story

To my colleagues in the foreign affairs community, known and unknown, I regret that the artwork of my novel about your service has misrepresented the truth. “BOO-ring," LousyBookCoversDotCom hooted. "Showing you just how dramatic diplomacy can be.” What an insult my cover must seem to those of us who serve our country. What an insult to those who've worked in … Continue reading Cover Story

A Wry Ode to Clusterf***ing

Joyless House posted this generous review of Two Pumps for the Body Man. See what else they're reviewing with a click on the image. "...Two Pumps is a page-turner, baby, and it takes some real balls to satirize the great Christian crusade of our times." Two Pumps is set in the Royal Kingdom of Saudi … Continue reading A Wry Ode to Clusterf***ing

Diplomatic Security

This trailer from the film America's Diplomats shows how our diplomatic security personnel train for the worst case scenario---from protests and threats to bombings and outright assaults on our missions overseas. Their storied bureau turned 100 this year. https://youtu.be/-QTzTP9vZRk Learn more about the daily grind of our DS personnel in Two Pumps for the Body … Continue reading Diplomatic Security

A Catch-22 for the War on Terror

Two Pumps for the Body Man Set in Saudi Arabia, Two Pumps did for American diplomacy and the War on Terror what Catch-22 did for military logic in World War II: The enemy can’t kill us if our institutions kill us first. Jeff Mutton walks the diplomatic beat protecting American officials in Saudi Arabia. An … Continue reading A Catch-22 for the War on Terror

Coming Very Soon

The Second World War II had Catch 22. The Global War on Terror will have:

Foreign Service Writers

The March issue of the Foreign Service Journal covers the annual book fair and includes a call for FS-affiliated writers to submit news of forthcoming and recently published books for the November round up. Authors are also invited to submit work for review on this blog: I recently reviewed retired FSO James F. O'Callaghan's No Circuses. See below. From the FSJ … Continue reading Foreign Service Writers

Review: Foreign Service Fiction

Anyone who thinks diplomacy is about choosing the right fork at the right time should think again and read James O'Callaghan’s clever satire No Circuses (Tacchino Press, 2015). Forget preconceived notions of dinner-party diplomacy: keeping one’s elbows off the table, tangoing the rival into submission, and writing it up the next day in communiqués to DC. What diplomacy’s really about, in O’Callaghan’s world, … Continue reading Review: Foreign Service Fiction