n Journal for Contemporary History - The accidental ambassador. From parliament to Patagonia, Tony Leon : book review

Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



is indeed a thoughtful book. It basically departs from Leon's retirement from politics at the age of 52 and from the pondering of his father's remark that "you sound like Alexander at the doors of Constantinople: 'I have no more empires to conquer'." Soon after Leon entered into fellowships of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy's School of Government (2007) and the Cato Institute in Washington, DC (2008). An entirely new career opportunity opened up when he entered into public service as South Africa's ambassador to Argentina. From here, he takes the reader from his "job interview" with Pres. Zuma, to his three-week crash course in Pretoria on ambassadorship with two other former cabinet ministers, to his role as diplomat and life in Argentina.

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