The Constant Diplomat: Robert Ford in Moscow

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McGill-Queen's Press - MQUP, Sep 1, 2009 - Biography & Autobiography - 303 pages
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Robert A.D. Ford had a distinguished diplomatic career that included an unprecedented sixteen years as Canadian ambassador to the Soviet Union during some of the most turbulent and important years of the Cold War (1964-80). Relying heavily on first-person testimony, including several interviews with Ford himself, Charles Ruud takes the reader behind the official announcements, revealing Ford's thoughts and actions as he dealt with what was then seen as the great arch-enemy of Western democratic nations. During his tenure as ambassador Ford was in frequent contact with Moscow's rulers and aware of their struggles, hopes, plans, and fears. Although they appeared powerful, Ford insisted that they sat uneasily on their Kremlin thrones. He showed their shortcomings and the flaws of their system at moments of apparent triumph and warned against miscalculating their strength. Shaped by centuries of Russian tsarism and by Communist ideology, Soviet leaders distrusted the world outside their borders and often failed to understand it, making mistakes and then compounding them, always without acknowledgment. The Constant Diplomat uncovers the experiences that informed Ford's capacity to understand the Russians and provides a clear picture of the evolving Soviet domestic, political, social, and cultural scene from the late Stalin era through to the end of the Brezhnev regime.
 

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Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
The Ambassador in Training
Thereza and Encounters with Russia
Politics under Khrushchev
Brezhnev the Flawed Leader
The Soviets under Threat
Trudeaus Opening
The Decline of the USSR
The Soviet Embassy Ottawa
Final Things
A Retrospective Look
A A Soviet Province
B Early Travels with Ford 19521953
Travels with the Ambassador 19781979
Notes

Trudeau in Moscow
Trudeau after the Peak
Soviet Meetings
Bibliography
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Charles A. Ruud is a professor of history at the University of Western Ontario and the author of several books on Russia, including Fontanka 16: The Tsars' Secret Police.

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