Tact and Intelligence: Essays on Diplomatic History and International Relations

Editors' Note


This volume brings together previously uncollected essays by the late Gordon A. Craig on diplomatic and international history. Its title comes from Sir Ernest Satow’s description of diplomacy as “the application of intelligence and tact to the conduct of official relations between the governments of independent states”—a definition that Gordon Craig cites in the first chapter of this book.

Three of the essays in this volume offer overviews, from different but overlapping perspectives, of the fields of diplomatic and international history. Others analyze changes in the pattern of international relations over time or examine attitudes toward “the balance of power.” A trio of essays analyzes the intricate diplomacy of the period between the two world wars—a period that formed the subject of Gordon Craig’s classic collaboration with his friend Felix Gilbert, The Diplomats, published originally in 1953. Another group of essays gathers examples of the biographical profiles and comparisons of which Gordon Craig was such a master: portraits of Hitler, Roosevelt, Churchill, and Marshall. Finally, a review of Henry Kissinger’s book Diplomacy offered Gordon Craig an opportunity to survey the trajectory of diplomatic history from the Renaissance through the twentieth century.

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