Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Accidental Ambassador - Amazon.com Reviews

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"The Accidental Ambassador - From Parliament to Patagonia"

In April 2013, Pan Macmillan published the keenly anticipated diplomatic memoir of Tony Leon which is entitled "The Accidental Ambassador - From Parliament to Patagonia". This revealing insight into what happens behind embassy walls and how the author went from frontline opposition politics in South Africa to representing the country in three of South America's intriguing countries - Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, is a witty and candid account of the 'secrets of the diplomatic trade' and a no-holds barred narrative of the countries in transition on both sides of the South Atlantic.

'As a fellow accidental ambassador, reading Tony Leon's adventures in the land of the original Evita and the gauchos reminded me there are reasons to be grateful we live in South Africa after all' Evita Bezuidenhout

A few Amazon.com readers shared their views online after reading the Accidental Ambassador: 

5/5 Superb, April 29, 2013
By John Steenhuisen

Tony Leon takes us through the remarkable journey his life took after deciding to leave frontline politics. This lighthearted look at diplomatic life in a corner of the globe doesn't fail to deliver some hard-hitting analysis and lessons for us in RSA.

Laced with delightful vignettes, sporting banter and behind the scenes peeks beyond the diplomatic veneer it is a delight to read. At parts funny, at parts sad the book is an absolute pleasure to read.

5/5 A wonderful read, May 26, 2013
By Louise Kremeris

From the moment I began reading 'The Accidental Ambassador', I was immediately engrossed in the narrative. I so enjoyed the careful and precise language and the dry wit that punctuated the stories. The book is an excellent balance of keen political observation, historical detail, gossip, humor and real emotion. I loved it.

5/5 A fascinating comparison of South Africa and Argentina, past and present, May 2, 2013

 As a former South African who has spent time in Argentina, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the two countries through the former Ambassador's eyes. His descriptions paint a vivid picture of life and the issues facing Argentina, comparing and contrasting them with those facing South Africa. Leon shares his broad knowledge of the history and background of both countries in a way that helps any reader understand the current situation. I felt like an insider as he shared the unique and amazing situations only an ambassador could experience.

4/5 A nice easy read, May 20, 2013
By S J (Johannesburg, South Africa)

The book is easy to read and give a very good back ground to life in the foreign service. A good book to dip in while reading other books.

4/ 5 A good read from a frank and erudite author, May 15, 2013
By Don Lindsay

Some may love him and some may hate him but Tony Leon is a clever, insightful person who calls a fool, a fool. I personally respect and enjoy his intellect and insight. For those with an interest in South Africa and/or Argentina, this book will be appealing. It may also make an amusing read for those in the diplomatic corps.


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