About the book
Ambassador to a Small World
is a highly personal portrait of Chad from the vantage point of Christopher Goldthwait, the longest-serving U.S. ambassador to N'Djamena. The book comprises his perceptive reflections on the country and its people. It touches on U.S. foreign policy, foreign aid, and the life of the small American community in one of the continent’s most isolated countries. And it examines sharp contrasts within Chad and between Chad and the United States.
Originating as a series of monthly letters to a dozen close friends, the book preserves the epistolary format, with the letters grouped into topical chapters. Much of the book is a travelogue, describing 25,000 miles of travel, of which 15,000 were overland, to nearly every corner of Chad. What began as descriptive quickly became analytical and reflective. The insights of the letters remains current.
This is a book in the ADST-DACOR Memoirs and Occasional Papers Series.
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“Christopher Goldthwait, accomplished diplomat and agricultural economist, is a gifted practitioner of the forgotten art of letter writing. Graceful, funny, and brimming with insights, these sketches from his stint as ambassador to Chad wonderfully capture this 'small' but enthralling world.”
—MARC WALL, former U.S. ambassador to Chad
“Ambassador to a Small World paints a dynamic picture of Chad's geography, history, politics, and economy.... Recommended reading for all FSOs assigned to Chad and similar African posts.”
—MATTIE SHARPLESS, U.S. ambassador to the Central African Republic 2001–2002
“Chris Goldthwait's letters from Chad offer an intriguing commentary—and fascinating travel chronicle—by an experienced observer on the challenges facing a developing country.”
—MICHAEL B. SMITH, U.S. ambassador (retired)