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Book Title: Diplomacy: Theory and Practice|
The author of the book: Geoff Berridge
Edition: Palgrave Macmillan
Date of issue: February 15th 2010
ISBN 13: 9780230229600
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 15.33 MB
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Reader ratings: 7.4
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A lot more could probably be said about this book, and perhaps a lot more deserves to be said. This entry will however be mercifully short.
Most reviews of this book are bad. The complaint charges mainly that the book is dull and its exposition makes points that are obvious. I think this criticism is half right and half wrong.
The book is dull, but partly by design. Though the material is combed in an ordinary manner, and the writing never escapes from the prosaic, still, this is because the book intends to outline the art of diplomacy in a linear fashion. Super-headings are following by sub-headings; assertions are followed by examples. Most everything unfurls in such a way as not to surprise.
Even so, this uninspiring design is matched with an outlay of diplomacy that is uncommon to the subject. To my knowledge, not many have attempted to unpack exactly what are the elements of the prenegotiation phase--e.g., format, venue, delegations, timing, etc. The real counter charge against Berridge is that his analysis isn't full; that he his design is too rigid; that he is guilty of major omissions; or that he has missed other subtleties or quirks of diplomacy.
Whether these charges are right, or not, they in part exonerate him from the claim of being dull, or obvious, since an inquiry of this sort is itself neither.
It should be said that he helpfully adds examples to each portion of his discussion. I credit him for it, but it would have been inappropriate had he not. I would go one step farther however and say that his examples begin to get repetitive since he borrows from the same set of events again and again. And that they lack charm of a good story, which, if had orchestrated it better, could have been affected with a sort of gnomic quality--not dissimilar to that like which appears in Machiavelli, Montaigne, Plutarch, and other great historians recounting anecdotes of old.
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