The American Ambassador by Ward Just

The American AmbassadorThis was hard to get into because of shifts in time, location, and points of view, but well worth it. In a prologue, the ambassador’s son recalls observing his father discussing politics and condemning him as part of a corrupt, decadent America. Later the ambassador learns that the CIA suspects his son of terrorist involvement. The ambassador also, as a young man, confronted his father over the government, and angrily declared his intent to become a diplomat. In his complex book, Just asks, how does the personal become political, the political, personal? This insightful book examines the influence of history, father-son relationships, loyalty, compromise, consequences. Beautifully written, atmospheric. Ward deserves to be much better known.

Published in 1987, this book is frighteningly relevant. A quote: His father “was frightened of America. America’s potential, its reach, its grab, its ignorance of the dark side of things. America had no understanding of true malevolence.”

Reviewed by Sarav


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