‘And Then What? is breathless and conversational – and all the more readable for that. But while her tone is down-to-earth, the events that Ashton played a part in were dramatic and often historic.’ Gideon Rachman, Financial Times
‘A colourful insider account of European diplomacy ? It’s clear our politics would have turned out better if we had had more Cathy Ashtons’ Luke Harding, The Observer
So much of modern-day diplomacy still takes place behind closed doors, away from cameras and prying eyes. So what does this vital role really look like in today’s world -and what does it take to do it well?
From 2009 to 2014, Cathy Ashton was the EU’s first High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security, effectively Europe’s foreign policy supremo responsible for coordinating the EU’s response to international crises. Arriving in Brussels as a relative novice to international diplomacy, she faced the challenge of representing the views and values of 28 nations during one of the most turbulent times in living memory. Decades-old certainties were swept away in days. Hope rose and fell, often in a matter of hours.
From the frozen conflict of Ukraine to the Serbia-Kosovo deal, there were challenges, failures and moments of success. She encountered dictators and war criminals, and witnessed the aftermath of natural disasters, military action, and political instability. Working with US politicians and counterparts including John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Burns, she negotiated historic settlements, such as the Iran nuclear deal. An ‘honest broker’, she navigated the needs of opposing politicians to chart a path towards collaboration and stability.
Now Ashton takes us behind the scenes to show us what worked and what didn’t, and how it felt to be in ‘the room where it happened’. From Serbia to Somalia, Libya to Haiti, she offers essential insight into how modern diplomacy works, examining the tools needed to find our way through the many challenges we face today.
‘A riveting, absorbing account of modern diplomacy by one of the greatest international diplomats of recent times’ General David Petraeus (US Army, Ret.), former Director of the CIA
‘If generations of Earthlings-to-be do indeed engage in cosmic negotiations with other lifeforms, it will be because of the success of Cathy and her diplomatic compatriots in bringing us to realise we are Earth-life, together.’ Rusty Schweickart, Apollo 9 astronaut
‘A must for students of politics and a treat for lovers of general non-fiction.’ Misha Glenny, Rector of the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna, and author of McMafia
‘riveting, deeply personal and wonderfully accessible’ Sir Kim Darroch, former British Ambassador to the USA, National Security Advisor, and UK Permanent Representative to the EU
‘Catherine Ashton’s gripping memoirs are not only a perfect combination of very precise facts and touching personal emotions, but for all foreign policy observers they convey important lessons of the past to serve for the crises of today.’ Pierre Vimont, former French ambassador to the EU and the USA