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Unquiet Diplomacy: Revised and Updated    by Paul Celucci order for
Unquiet Diplomacy
by Paul Celucci
Order:  USA  Can
Key Porter, 2007 (2007)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Unquiet Diplomacy is a rational, politically correct and - from someone with a reputation for forthrightness - surprisingly diplomatic memoir that describes Paul Celucci's background in U.S. politics and his tenure as the twentieth United States Ambassador to Canada, from April, 2001 to March, 2005. He comments often on his style of public diplomacy, hence the title.

In his Preface, Celucci mentions his gratification at two current trends in Canadian policy, for which he advocated as Ambassador - 'a commitment to increased defense spending, and a commitment to the continued integration of the North American economy.' He also speaks of his love for the country and his connection to it - including his younger daughter Anne's marriage to Canadian Craig Adams (an NHL hockey player) during his tenure. Regarding the sensitivity of Canada/US relations, Celucci aptly quotes Pierre Elliott Trudeau who said that 'living beside the United States is like sleeping beside an elephant.' His time in office included 9/11, and he reflects back in some detail on that, on increasing concerns with border security - including the Smart Border concept that he supported to deal with the over 5,000 'virtually undefended miles' that separate the two countries - and on the support provided by Canada to the United States on and after 9/11. He shares his feelings about 'one of the most moving days in my life' three days after the attacks when 100,000 people gathered for a 'demonstration of solidarity' on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Though clearly looking back on events and spinning them (including the arrest of Maher Arar and the extended softwood lumber dispute) to reflect well on the U.S. role, Celucci presents a very rational retrospective. His page on the reasons for the decision to invade Iraq is clear, concise and (IMHO) sensible - but then I was in the Canadian minority that agreed with it at the time. I enjoyed his descriptions of journeys around Canada and especially appreciated his wife Jan's comment on the stress of entertaining President and Mrs. Bush at the official residence, which 'still doesn't rise to the level of the Celucci family arriving for Christmas.'

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