My Hectic Years as Jean Chretien's Diplomatic Advisor, 1994-1998
James K. Bartleman
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For four years, James Bartleman mixed with all the biggest names – Clinton, Blair, Yeltsin, Mitterrand, Castro, Kohl, Chirac, and on and on, as Chrétien’s Henry Kissinger figure.
He was involved in deadly serious crisis management, accompanying Chrétien to all the world’s hot spots – dodging bullets in Sarajevo, and trying to avoid war in the Spanish trawler incident. Not to mention dealing with Premier Li of China on an official visit encountering protestors in Montreal and shouting, “I am departing immediately. Never have I and my country been so humiliated.”
Which leader at the G7 Summit in Halifax passed out drunk in the hotel elevator? What did Jean Chrétien do to set White House aides threatening, “the next time there’s a referendum, we will support the separatists”? And why did Fidel Castro grab our author, shaking him and snarling, “I hope you are satisfied, Bartleman”? It’s all in this lively book.
Every major world crisis of these years is represented here, and every region of the world. You’ll be amazed at how widely Chrétien and Bartleman travelled and how much top-level action they experienced. Canadian foreign policy has never seemed so exciting. Or so funny (as when the angry Japanese prime minister’s Ottawa visit was marred by a health problem officially described as “soft poo”). A candid, witty, eye-opening book about foreign affairs at the top.
From the Hardcover edition.