Cover wed

Described as Mrs Thatcher’s favourite diplomat, Robin Renwick was at the centre of events in the negotiations to end the Rhodesian War. As Ambassador in South Africa, he played a bridging role between the government and the ANC, having become a trusted personal friend of Nelson Mandela and of F. W. de Klerk.

In the Foreign Office, he played an integral part in forging the agreement that returned two thirds of our contribution to the European budget back to Britain.

In Washington, where he became a confidant of George Bush Sr, then of Bill Clinton, he was deemed an exceptionally influential British Ambassador whose efforts were devoted to getting the US and its allies to take the actions needed to end the Bosnian War.

Not Quite A Diplomat looks back over an illustrious career in the foreign service and paints vivid and revealing first-hand portraits of some of the giants of international politics over the past forty years, from Mandela and Mugabe to George Bush Sr, the Clintons and Margaret Thatcher. In this entertaining memoir, Renwick examines why diplomacy too often consists of ineffective posturing, and explores the likely effects of Brexit, Trump and, potentially, Jeremy Corbyn on Britain’s standing in the world.


“Quite a gem. Good stories, well told, with some useful guidance for diplomats to come. It is rare to find officials who will take the initiative and risk to get things done, recognising the moment, and acting.”

Robert Zoellick, former president of the World Bank

Such an insightful read.

Henry Kissinger

The book was a joy to read, not because of any particular opinions, but because of the clear-sighted realism of his analysis.

The Sunday Times

A riveting and entertaining memoir.

The Daily Telegraph

Full of amusing anecdotes!

Iain Dale, LBC
Show more

Share this book

Buy this book

  • Hardback, 304 pages
  • ISBN: 9781785904592
  • 26 February 2019
  • £20.00

  • eBook
  • ISBN: 9781785904646
  • 26 February 2019
  • £16.99

About our eBooks

Similar titles:

We Are What We Read
Finding Margaret
Breaking The Code
Newbon, Bloody Hell