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Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American…

Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy: A Memoir

by Christopher R. Hill

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I received a copy of this book via a GoodReads Giveaway.

Ambassador Hill's autobiography is a refreshing foray into some of the most difficult diplomatic quagmires America experienced in the past 30 years. Hill could have bombarded the reader with a litany of names, dates, and accomplishments...but instead takes considerable effort to simplify and humanize even the most alien of situations. Reading of his encounters with historical figures ranging from Kim Jung Il and Slobodan Milosevic to Mother Theresa is enlightening in a different way than generally experienced, where Hill discusses the individual style, relationships, wants, and habits that he personally experienced with each of these individuals. Hill also has a wonderful method of describing the geography and environments of which he experiences - for a reader that has never been to Mongolia or North Korea, this may have been the most fascinating element of 'Outpost.'

As far as diplomatic works go, Outpost is particularly easy to read, and engaging to the point that it is difficult to put down. While ending on something of a slightly pessimistic note (although perhaps deservedly so), 'Outpost' is a work that anyone interested in a career at the State Department should read. You won't find this branch of diplomatic history told in a more compelling or human capacity elsewhere.

5/5 ( )
  bdtrump | May 9, 2015 |
This is just an amazing look at different parts of the world from someone on the front lines of American diplomacy. Ambassador Hill provides a plain talking and warm narrative of the countries, people, and situations he encountered. He worked with different presidents and different regimes and is supportive and honestly critical if the situation calls for it. This is a must read for those looking in to foreign service.

Free review copy. ( )
  mrmapcase | Nov 25, 2014 |
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To the memory of my parents and all they taught me about the world,


To all the men and women of the foreign service and their families who accepted difficult assignments in outposts far from home,


To my children Nat, Amy, and Clara who did their fair share of time in far-flung outposts,


To my loving wife, Julie.
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It was July 2009 and I had never been to the capital of Dhi Qar Province before.
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